Vietnamese Security Experts Beat Face ID with New Mask in "Twin Way"

Terry Joseph
November 29, 2017

A security firm from Vietnam called Bkav was able to defeat Face ID security earlier this month using an ornate mask.

Apple has been touting its FaceID as the most advanced mobile security system since the advent of iPhone X. The company has claimed that the facial recognition tech is more secure than the TouchID, but evidence keeps landing continuously to prove otherwise.

This isn't great news for Apple who has been talking up its Face ID tech in support notes: "It's created to protect against spoofing by masks or other techniques through the use of sophisticated anti-spoofing neural networks".

But just because Face ID is successful, it doesn't mean that it has no problems at all. iPhone has placed great trust in the Face ID technology and has associated many features of general applications and also the overall User Experience with Face ID.

Vietnamese cybersecurity firm Bkav has once again beaten Apple's Face ID iPhone security feature, this time using a 3D printed mask and printed infrared images of eyes. "Face ID is even attention-aware".

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In the video above you will see the mask is made up of stone powder with the 2D infrared images of the eyes taped to the mask which mimics a real face and is used to unlock the iPhone X. Face ID is enabled during the video to show that is in fact his real face used during setup and then unlocked via the mask.

Now is this a reason to be cautious about using Face ID? With the introduction of the edge-to-edge display on the iPhone X, Apple had to get rid of the home button and as a result TouchID. Here, Bkav is employing the theory of how twins unlocked the iPhone X.

The test itself was conducted under the $999 iPhone X's strictest security settings, matching the owners face as best it can, but unfortunately was no match for the artificial twin, which managed to make quick work of the authentication. If Face ID fails to recognize within 5 tries, it will lock and require a passcode.

Since the unlocking could be performed so easily this time, Bkav has raised its warning level, suggesting that even ordinary business users should avoid using Face ID as a legitimate security feature.

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