Hackers 'crack' iPhone X Face ID software

Posted November 14, 2017

Less than a week after the iPhone X release, a Vietnamese security firm says it has done what others couldn't - trick the phone's facial recognition software. How? The trouble with facial recognition is that too many humans have defining characteristics that can not be dissected by a machine-we look too similar. "Country leaders, leaders of major corporations.are the ones that need to know about the issue, because their devices are worth illegal unlock attempts". At a presentation announcing iPhone X's facial recognition capabilities on September 12, almost two months before its November 3 release, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller said engineering teams developed artificial intelligence to help the product distinguish between real owners and masks. Of those measures was lowering the internal specifications for its Face ID components.

The mask used to test the Face ID feature.

In a YouTube video (below) and accompanying blog post, Bkav appears to show how an iPhone X can be unlocked using a mask made to look like the handset's owner.

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Bkav said that the experiment is a proof of concept and it claimed that in order to bypass the security measure even half of the face is enough to crack into the system.

One week has passed, since Apple launched iPhone X, while the race between hackers to dodge its Face ID has finally come to an end. There are at least a few ways the video could have been faked, the most obvious of which would be to just train Face ID on the mask itself before presenting it with the actual face likeness.

Other than that, the eyes were represented with printed 2D images, with a little extra special processing done on the cheeks and other areas of the face where there are large areas of skin.

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"If you happen to have an evil twin, you need to protect your data with a passcode", marketing vice president Phil Schiller joked during Apple's iPhone X announcement. Face ID is even attention-aware. That's because Face ID has the same timeouts as Apple's Touch ID feature.

The new technology has passed nearly all the security tests with flying colours; until a security firm called Bkav allegedly created a mask to beat the FaceID. All of this was done to fool Apple's AI-powered Face ID tech. Making the mask only cost $150 in materials, but required access to a detailed scan of the person's facial features and many hours of work by artists ... The mask faces an iPhone X, which is placed on a stand.

Still, the average iPhone X users shouldn't worry about this trick being used against them. "This seems like an unlikely sequence of events".

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