IPhone X Face ID already tricked by $200 mask

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It might not be a question of movie-like authenticity, however - security researchers at Bkav claim to have thwarted Face ID by using a specially-built mask.

The smartphone rival admitted the flaw but said that it never claimed facial recognition was uncrackable.

"Potential targets shall not be regular users, but billionaires, leaders of major corporations, nation leaders, and agents like Federal Bureau of Investigation need to understand the Face ID's issue", the Bkav researchers write. Apple also says Face ID uses artificial intelligence which is trained to spot spoofing attempts and resist them. And Face ID was not able to distinguish between the two. His face was used as the model for the mask and then to unlock an iPhone X on which his face had been registered with Face ID.

When the iPhone X was announced in September 2017, Apple showed off its Face ID feature that relies on facial recognition to unlock the screen.

You can see the mask seemingly working in the video below, and interestingly the mask isn't even a full-face replica, with Bkav noting that it only needed details for half the face to fool Face ID.

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When Apple released the iPhone X on November 3, it touched off an immediate race among hackers around the world to be the first to fool the company's futuristic new form of authentication. Apple points out that it uses infrared sensors and mapping dots to scan for 3D images. That's because to use Face ID, there must be a passcode set up on the phone, which is required as additional security validation when the device has just been turned on or restarted; after five unsuccessful Face ID attempts; or if the device hasn't been unlocked for more than 48 hours. However many have raised concerns as to how safe is Apple's face ID? "If convenience is more important, Face ID may be your choice". For those who don't know, the face-scanning system on the iPhone works by a True Depth camera system that scans your face every time you are using your phone. "You can try it out with your own iPhone X, the phone shall recognise you even when you cover a half of your face", the hackers explained.

The resultant mask does not look humane at all, with only the eyes, nose and mouth area actually painted in. "This seems like an unlikely sequence of events", Norris said.

Bkav did not give details of how long it took for its iPhone X to unlock with the mask. Nose was made by a handmade artist.

These requirements to create the mask reach such a high standard that it seems like it would be nearly impossible to replicate this scenario in an actual attack.