November 13, 2017

Vietnamese Security Firm Bypasses iPhone X’s Face ID Technology By Using 3D Mask

Since the time it has been released into the market on November 3, Apple’s premium flagship, iPhone X has been put through several tests. And especially,  iPhone X’s Face ID unlock technology that has replaced Touch ID is going through a lot. Many researchers have been trying to check if they could bypass the company’s advanced face recognition phone authentication system.

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Just one week after iPhone X officially went on sale, Vietnamese tech experts show that Face ID can be fooled by the mask. A team of researchers from the security firm ‘Bkav’ claim to have fooled the iPhone X’s Face ID technology using a specially constructed 3D-printed mask, which means it is not an effective security measure. They released a blog post where they said that they had beaten Apple’s security measure with a simple technique: a silicone mask.

The researchers have also posted a video demonstrating how they fooled Apple’s Face ID (which was designed to be specifically effective against spoofing) using photos and masks.

YouTube video

As we can see in the video, an iPhone X is shown unlocking for both the mask and the person it’s based on.

“The mask is crafted by combining 3D printing with makeup and 2D images, besides some special processing on the cheeks and around the face, where there are large skin areas, to fool AI of Face ID,” said Ngo Tuan Anh, Bkav’s Vice President of Cyber Security.

Hence, the security firm claims that after nearly 10 years of development, facial recognition is “not mature enough” to guarantee security for either smartphones or computers, having previously bypassed safeguards on some laptops.

In conclusion, Face ID on the iPhone X is not an effective security measure as Apple has announced. However, in practice, Bkav-style masks are unlikely to pose a threat, as not everyone can make a Bkav-style mask since they would not only be difficult and expensive to make but require the dimensions of a person’s face and detailed imagery. So, regular iPhone X users need not be concerned about this.

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