IPhone X Face ID security software apparently tricked by 3D printed mask

14 November, 2017, 01:15 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook holds an iPad during a presentation at Apple headquarters in Cupertino California

Apple announced on iPhone X debut that even Hollywood-quality masks can not fool its security system.

Face ID uses artificial intelligence to distinguish real faces from images, videos or masks, but it "learns" a face over time.

Barely ten days into the market, Apple's flagship smartphone, iPhone X' face recognition technology or the Face ID is being challenged by a cybersecurity firm, which claims to have fooled it.

It is understood that Bkav's experiments are not seen as a credible proof of concept, while security experts have suggested that Face ID was a feature created to be convenient rather than ultra secure.

Apples' claims stated that Face ID had a one in a million chance of another person being able to unlock it and that it had stress-tested the technology using silicone masks made by Hollywood studios. Bkav then set about proving that Apple's facial recognition technology isn't secure, and it appears the company did just that - according to the video it released at least.

The hack was cheap - Bkav estimates the total cost in materials for a face to hoodwink Face ID was around $150. Face ID allows iPhone X users to unlock their phone just by looking at it.

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When Apple released the iPhone X on November 3, it touched off an immediate race among hackers around the world to be the first to fool the company's futuristic new form of authentication. We use 2D printing for other parts (similar to how we tricked Face Recognition 9 years ago).

BKAV said it used a detailed scan to develop the mask, which took about five minutes to finish.

"Potential targets shall not be regular users, but billionaires, leaders of major corporations, [and] nations' leaders", Bkav says.

The creation wasn't able to defeat Face ID at first, as other folks with the same idea have found.

"Is this really a risk to iPhone X users?" However, more people are starting to use 3D printing to get past security measures, from 3D printed fingerprints and keys to cracking a safe, so using a 3D printed mask to fool facial recognition software definitely doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility. Not necessarily. Bkav affirmed that the efforts involved to make this mask are hard to work for a normal user. The company also claims that the FaceID is foolproof and can't be hacked using a two-dimensional picture of the user to unlock the phone.

Without further testing it's not possible to corroborate this claim, but given that both these methods require a back-up PIN or password you might be best off skipping biometric security altogether if the contents of your iPhone are that sensitive.

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