Cybersecurity firm seemingly dupes iPhone X's Face ID using cheap mask
Cybersecurity firm seemingly dupes iPhone X's Face ID using cheap mask
Apple CEO Tim Cook holds an iPad during a presentation at Apple headquarters in Cupertino California
14 November, 2017, 01:16
Researchers at Vietnam's Bkav demonstrate a "proof of concept" spoof of Face ID using a mask. The task required $150 in materials, but more importantly the subject's full cooperation to take detailed 3-D facial scans.
Wired made an array of deeply creepy masks, hiring a special effects makeup artist who spent 17 hours embedding thousands of eyebrow hairs with a needle - all of which failed to unlock the phone.
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. Face ID is different from other electronic devices' image recognition techniques due to this dot projection, which creates a 3D image by directing beams of infrared light at a person's face; then, artificial intelligence essentially "learns" the face and keeps other faces from accessing the phone.
It took the researchers some attempts to get the mask right in order to trick Face ID, but at $150, around £114, to create the mask, the hack is not massively expensive providing one has the knowledge how to create it to specifically beat facial recognition systems. "These are actual masks used by the engineering team to train the neural network to protect against them in Face ID".
A cybersecurity firm have apparently successfully tricked Face ID into unlocking with a specially made mask, imitating a real person's face. "It is because we understand how AI of Face ID works and how to bypass it", the firms said on its FAQ page.
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"Potential targets shall not be regular users, but billionaires, leaders of major corporations, [and] nations' leaders", Bkav says.
Bkav said, "Exploitation is hard for normal users, but simple for professional ones". Users can also remotely disable Face ID if they lose their iPhone.
But even if that's true (and we're not certain the clip is to be trusted 100 percent), Bkav's expertise is far from widely available. The company may have purposefully done a poor job setting up Face ID so it was easier to trick, which would discredit the results.
Until biometrics can be made flawless, Woodward recommends users rely on tried-and-true security defenses.
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