Apple Inc. introduced Face ID facial recognition system on September 12, 2017, with the launch of iPhone X and claimed that even high-quality masks such as those used in Hollywood movies couldn’t trick its security system. It turned out Apple was right because all it took for security researchers to fool Face ID was a specially crafted mask, not a Hollywood one.
Before going any further, this is what senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Mr. Phil Schiller said about the Face ID system during the iPhone X event:
“Apple engineering teams have even gone and worked with professional mask makers and makeup artists in Hollywood to protect against these attempts to beat Face ID. These are actual masks used by the engineering team to train the neural network to protect against them in Face ID.”
However, now, the IT security researchers at Bkav claimed to have bypassed Face ID with a 3D-printed frame, makeup, silicone nose and 2D images along with special processing on the cheeks and around the face, where there are large skin areas, to fool Face ID system.
Furthermore, the company claims they didn’t cheat via the use of any special software or hack to bypass Face ID. This shows that facial recognition is still vulnerable and “not mature enough” at this point. Remember, Bkav is the same company that during the Black Hat security conference demonstrated how recognition-based authentication in laptops from Asus, Toshiba, and Lenovo could be bypassed.
“So, after nearly 10 years of development, face recognition is not mature enough to guarantee security for computers and smartphones,” said Bkav.
Bkav is yet to release technical details of this hack. However, a video demonstration highlights the current state of vulnerabilities in the Face ID system.
This is not the first time when researchers have successfully bypassed Apple’s security. In the past, a Chinese startup demonstrated how they could hack an iPhone and access user data with a popular children’s toy. The toy, Play Dough or Play-Doh.
If you are using an iPhone X, share with us what you think about this development? The comment section is all yours.