Thousand-dollar iPhone X security wrecked by '$150 3D-printed mask'

An Apple iPad is used in Las Vegas

An Apple iPad is used in Las Vegas

Less than a week after the Apple iPhone X went on the market, a cybersecurity firm said it had already defeated the new phone's vaunted facial recognition system, Face ID, using a $150 mask made on a specialized printer. Nose was made by a handmade artist.

In this hack, a detailed scan was required of the individuals face in order to 3D print the mask.

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"With Face ID's being beaten by our mask, FBI, CIA, country leaders, leaders of major corporations, etc are the ones that need to know about the issue, because their devices are worth illegal unlock attempts", it said.

Bkav researchers said they were successful in their attempts after studying Apple's FaceID security manual and by leveraging their previous work on facial recognition systems. Both the owner and the mask are shown unlocking the phone. It took them less than a week to spoof Face ID and say it was even easier than they expected with only half a face needed to create the mask.

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That being said, Apple has acknowledged the issue and is reportedly replacing the affected iPhone X units free of cost. EXCEPT the Horrendous sound Quality/Speaker issues - Crackling/Sound with WAY too much Treble".

However, it does raise security concerns given that the mask reportedly cost about $150 (£114) to create. "These are actual masks used by the engineering team to train the neural network to protect against them in Face ID". 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. 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 a video released by the company Bkav, an employee unshrouds the mask, to which the phone apparently responds to by unlocking. It can also be used to confirm identity to make purchases and sign in to other apps. However, more people are starting to use 3D printing to get past security measures, from 3D printed fingerprints and keys to cracking a safe, so using a 3D printed mask to fool facial recognition software definitely doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility.

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When Apple announced it was getting rid of Touch ID for facial recognition, the company said it was a more secure option with only a one in 1,000,000 chance of being hacked. "It is because we understand how AI of Face ID works and how to bypass it", the firms said on its FAQ page. As you can see from the video we're just having a bit of fun but I think it raises a valid point. The fact that Face ID can be fooled shows that biometric methods don't offer foolproof security. Exploitation is hard for normal users, but simple for professional ones, ' they added.

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