Facial recognition is the next iteration of biometric identification. BKAV said the potential targets wouldn't be people with average threat models, it would be "billionaires, leaders of major corporations, nation leaders". 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.
The Bkav researchers say they were able to crack Face ID with a cheap mix of materials, 3D printing rather than face-casting, and perhaps most surprisingly, fixed, two-dimensional printed eyes.
Bkav has declined to explain why its efforts succeeded where others' did not-thus, it's unclear how the firm did it, or how momentous the "hack" really is. If you still find yourself in a situation where law enforcement agencies might attempt to get your iPhone X unlocked, you can disable the Face ID technology by pressing the lock button five times.
In the video posted to YouTube one of the company's staff pulls a piece of cloth from a mounted mask facing an iPhone X on a stand, and the phone instantly unlocks.
The composite mask (made of 3D printed plastic and make-up) was able to unlock an iPhone locked with Face ID, the researchers said.
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But as Bkav emphasizes, applying their knowledge about how the iPhone X attempts to verify a face allowed them to put together a mask that defeated that system after just five days of work.
Apple's revolutionary new Face ID technology can be hacked. Without a face iPhone X prompts for a passcode.
According to the company's website, in 2008 Bkav discovered the first critical flaw in Google Chrome soon after it launched, making it the first company to discover just how vulnerable facial recognition can be when used as a log-in on laptops and other devices.
Bkav's method claims to use both 2D images and masks, two tactics that Apple seems pretty confident that Face ID can defend against. Key areas, like the eyes and mouth, were actually recreated with 2D photos pasted onto the 3D surface. However many have raised concerns as to how safe is Apple's face ID? Face ID is even attention-aware.
The researchers also don't expect such a technique to be used against the everyday iPhone X user. The mask took approximately 150 United States dollars to create. The nose and skin used for the mask are hand-made by a human artist.