The is the first Apple smartphone to feature the all new Face ID biometric recognition feature. During the launch of iPhone X, the company had claimed that the possibility of spoofing the highly robust Face ID and unlocking the handset is 1 in a million. However, Bkav, a cybersecurity firm based in Vietnam has created a mask that can bypass the Face ID feature of the iPhone X.
The special mask created by 3D printing a mould and then attaching 2D images of the user who has registered for Face ID on the iPhone X. Bkav has done some special processing in the facial areas such as cheeks where there are large portions of skin to make it appear like a realistic face. The exact details on how the mask was created has been mentioned on the FAQ page on Bkav’s site. The company claims that the cost of manufacturing such a mask is as low as $150.
According to Apple, the neural engine of the Apple A11 Bionic chipset that powers the iPhone X is able to train the smartphone to detect and resist spoofing of Face ID. However, the above video shows how Bkav could unlock the iPhone X using the mask they created. Bkav claims that the mask was made after receiving the iPhone X on Nov. 5. This indicates that the cybersecurity firm was able to create a mask for bypassing Face ID within a week of receiving the smartphone. It claims that it is a proof of concept experiment that the Face ID biometric system can be fooled.
However, there are some loopholes in the research. The video does not show the enrollment process for the real face. Hence, there is a possibility that they may have enrolled the mask instead of a real face.
Some may think that the iPhone X could have been trained to accept the mask. This could be possible by first making the iPhone X reject the mask and then entering the passcode. This process would train the iPhone X to accept the mask. Bkav that has a record of breaking biometric recognition technologies have said that they have applied a strict rule of “absolutely no passcode.”
Such a hack for bypassing Face ID may sound scary to iPhone X owners. One needs to be aware of the fact that the above hack was demonstrated to suggest that the Face ID can be fooled. However, iPhone X owners do not need to worry about this complex hacking technique as it requires a malicious hacker to perform a complete scan of the face of the target. He would also need physical access to the target’s iPhone X.