Why Masks Can Trick Face ID on IPhone X – No Big Deal

When Apple first announced Face ID for the iPhone X , it stated that the new feature is significantly more secure than Touch ID and cannot be fooled by even the most realistic mask. But it turns out that this may not be the case.

Vietnamese cybersecurity company Bkav claims to have already tricked Face ID using a custom-made mask, but don’t return your iPhone X just yet. Before you worry, here’s what this news actually means for your smartphone’s security.

How Bkav beat Face ID

All you need to make a mask that can trick Face ID is about $ 150 worth of facial scans and materials, Bkava said.

The second part is simple. The mask was made using sculpted silicone, printer plastic, makeup, and paper scraps. Key areas like the eyes and mouth were actually recreated using 2D photographs pasted onto a 3D surface. The design was based on the discovery that Face ID only scans half of your face and supposedly requires no eye movements to work, which is surprisingly easy to fool.

However, the first part is a little more complicated. Bkav used a portable scanner that ran for five minutes. Thus, the only way to scan someone’s face is to be in the same room with their participation (by choice or by duress).

Why You Shouldn’t Worry

The fact that someone has to be in the same room with you means that this Face ID hack doesn’t pose a big threat to most people. Bkav notes that global leaders and CEOs may be at risk of targeted attack, but for the rest of us, there is no need to worry.

Later, perhaps you can get the same results by quickly scanning someone’s face with a smartphone camera, or even using photographs. But then again, you don’t need to worry about that at this point.

We also still do not know how legitimate Bkav’s claims are. The company may have deliberately mishandled its Face ID setup to make it easier to cheat, which would discredit the results. Bkav declined to answer a list of questions from Wired , but said he will reveal more at this week’s press conference, so we should find out more soon.

Until then, there’s no reason to stop using Face ID unless you find it annoying.


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