Whoops! Apple Face ID can be fooled with glasses and tape, researchers find
When iPhone users complain about the loss of the popular Touch ID sensor, Apple points out that its Face ID technology is much more secure.
Indeed, the company says the chances of Face ID being fooled by a random person is one-in-a-million, while every 50,000th person could trick Touch ID.
However, you don’t need to be that one-in-a-million type person to get past the biometric facial recognition, according to security researchers, who managed to get by the phone’s defences by using eye glasses and tape.
Researchers from Tencent tapped into the “liveness” feature Apple users to determine real versus fake features and works by detecting real-world elements like background nose, focus blur and response distortion, ThreatPost reports.
At the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, the researchers revealed they were able to unlock an iPhone user’s phone using Face ID, while they in a deep sleep asleep or unconscious. This is through Face ID’s willingness to work even when it notes the wearer is donning specs.
The team created a pair of prototype glasses with black tape on the lenses, and white tape inside the black tape. From here they were able to unlock the phone and steal from the iPhone user’s money using a money transfer app.
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Of course, the target cannot wake up when you place the glasses on their face, meaning the scumbags in question would probably try and knock you out in order to steal from you using your locked iPhone.
“After our research we found weak points in FaceID… it allows users to unlock while wearing glasses… if you are wearing glasses, it won’t extract 3D information from the eye area when it recognises the glasses,” the researchers wrote.
Early on in the lifecycle of Face ID, Apple was accused of racism after failing to distinguish between Chinese users. The technology has improved since then and such complaints are rare. Those still missing the Touch ID sensor can take heart from rumours Apple is planning to bring it back, under the display, in a future iPhone model.