Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

IPhone X Face ID Hack Demoed by Vietnam Researcher

IPhone X Face ID Hack Demoed by Vietnam Researcher

Now it would appear that someone has managed to fool Face ID using a mask. Majority have failed despite spending tons of time and resources.

Similar to iPhone X, Apple is working on introducing Face ID system on its iPad by removing the device's home button. The mask was not created with a focus on realism.

The mask frame was made of plastic, covered with paper tape to resemble skin, with a silicone nose and paper for eyes and mouth.

This was done by Vietnamese security firm Bkav.

The company behind the video, Bkav have revealed more details about how they tricked Apple's Face ID with a mask. "Security units' competitors, commercial rivals of corporations, and even nations might benefit from our proof of concept".

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It's not clear why the iPhone X was fooled by this less convincing, and frankly extremely creepy mask. The FaceID failed to tell the difference and unlocked the phone. Meanwhile, other smartphone makers have advanced the mobile biometric revolution kickstarted by Apple's Touch ID system by seeking multimodality in their devices, with Samsung, for example, pairing iris recognition with fingerprint recognition on this year's flagship smartphones. Another reason for Bkav's success is that it "understands how the AI of Face ID works and how to bypass it". And Face ID was not able to distinguish between the two. A stylus called the "Apple Pencil" was also reported to be in progress and is expected to launch along with the new tablet. But what if we are not looking for a random person, but actually try and replicate a particular face and try to break into their iPhone X?

Apple claims the system is impervious to being fooled by photos, impersonators and masks, but a team of hackers claims to have beaten the technology after just a week.

The iPhone X starts at $1,000-for that kind of price tag we hope so. You'd need a detailed, near-exact digital scan. It might be a cause for worry if you are a celebrity, politician, billionaire, or a spy. Casual users are more likely to be troubled by acquaintances and thieves that would give up after a few attempts.

Depending on your level of loyalty to Apple, Bkav's discovery might not have a whole lot of influence on whether or not you buy the iPhone X, but it's handy to know that the Face ID feature isn't totally robust.

Bkav wrote in its blog that the efforts involved to fool the Face ID would make it incredibly hard to compromise casual users. Several users have pointed out that the Face ID lock icon at the top doesn't open when the phone is facing the mask. They offer only a reasonable level of security, and users adopt them because they are more convenient.

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