23 Nov'17

Apple’s face ID outsmarted by a constructed mask


On November 9th a Vietnamese security firm  called Bkav Corporation reported in a blog post they created a mask made with ‘a combination of 3D printing technique, 2D images and some special processing’ which beat Apple’s facial recognition software. It appears that Bkav do not want to reveal all their trade secrets with their description ‘special processing’.


Bkav added that ‘a 3D mask can easily bypass Face ID’s security mechanism’. In their amended blog post on November 15th Bkav added that other technical professionals who also tried and test bypassing Apple’s facial recognition software but failed were sceptical about their description ‘easily’.


WIRED’s experiment suggests that it is not necessarily an easy task. WIRED hired an experienced biometric hacker, a Hollywood makeup artist, and their lead gadget reviewer to try deceiving Apple’s Face ID, but they were unable to deceive Apple’s Face ID. However, they were aware that someone will ‘successfully crack the system sooner or later’.


Prior to the release of the iPhone X, Apple stated that facial recognition software is more secure than touch ID. On their webpage ‘About Face ID advanced technology’ Apple claim that ‘The probability that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone X and unlock it using Face ID is approximately 1 in 1,000,000 (versus 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID).’


Bkav stated that if Apple do not amend the fault: ‘Face ID on iPhone X is probably worse than Samsung’s Iris Scanner because at least this technology, although it is also fooled by masks, is still able to distinguish the twins. Face ID is not.’


‘iPhone_X_Family_lineup’ by Apple