Vietnamese cybersecurity company Bkav has allegedly found a way to trick Face ID on Apple’s iPhone X.
The company released a YouTube video on November 10th, 2017 demonstrating how they were able to build a mask capable of fooling Face ID into unlocking a device.
A November 11th, 2017 question-and-answer story posted to Bkav’s website expanded on the company’s work, clarifying that they were able to build the mask in the short time since the device has been available for purchase, and that the mask itself costs roughly $150 USD.
The q-and-a post also expanded on some security concerns raised by Face ID. For example, Bkav claims that an iPhone X can be unlocked “even when you cover half of your face.”
“It means the recognition mechanism is not as strict as you think,” reads an excerpt from the November post. “Apple seems to rely too much on Face ID’s AI. We just need a half face to create the mask. It was even simpler than we ourselves had thought.”
The actual mask itself was built using a 3D printer, while the nose was built by hand.
“We use 2D printing for other parts,” reads another excerpt. “The skin was also hand-made to trick Apple’s AI.”
Bkav also emphasized that this mask is a proof-of-concept. As for what iPhone — and any smartphone owners — should use in place of facial recognition, the company stated that “as for biometric security, fingerprint is the best.”
It’s important to note that Face ID’s privacy concerns extend beyond being able to trick the feature into activating. Canada’s privacy legislation is also unequipped to handle the implications of a device that unlocks once it’s recognized a user’s face.