WATCH: iPhone X Face ID hacked using a mask | Inquirer Technology

WATCH: iPhone X Face ID hacked using a mask

/ 12:31 PM November 13, 2017

Researchers from security firm Bkav Corporation have found a way to unlock the iPhone X Face ID facial recognition system using a mask.

The firm released a statement on their website, along with a proof of concept video, on how they managed to fool Face ID. Vice president of cyber security Ngo Tuan Anh described how they created the mask through 3D printing. They then combined this with some makeup, a prosthetic nose and cutouts of 2D images.


According to Bkav, their research team started working on the mask when they received an iPhone X last Nov. 5. This means the mask had been created in less than 10 days; it cost around $150 or about P7,500.

Anh first demonstrated the unlocking of the iPhone X without a face in front. Without a face to scan, the device prompted that a passcode be entered. He then tried to unlock the iPhone X again, but this time with the mask in front. The device did so without missing a beat.


The cyber security expert then picked up the phone to prove that its Face ID worked properly on his own face, which it did.

According to the Apple keynote in September, their research team collaborated with professional mask makers who worked in Hollywood. They did so to train artificial intelligence in telling the difference between a real face and an intricately made mask.

However, it now appears that a hacker may not need Hollywood-level crafting skills to fool Face ID. All it could take is a mask with “some special processing on the cheeks and around the face, where there are large skin areas, to fool AI of Face ID,” Anh said.

For the time being, Bkav believes the fingerprint-based systems are still the best biometric solution. JB


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TOPICS: Face ID, facial recognition, Hack, iPhone X, mask
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