Researchers at Vietnam based Bkav Corporation have created a 3D printed mask which can trick the Face ID feature in Apple's new premium smartphone, iPhone X. The Face ID is essentially an unlocking mechanism for the device using advanced face recognition algorithms and Artificial Intelligence. It was incorporated in the iPhone X, replacing the trusted fingerprint scanner. Apple, during the release, said that Face ID cannot be tricked by masks.
The researchers printed the mask with a 3D printer. But some parts such as the nose was made using silicone by a hand artist. The skin was also made by hand to trick the system. The complete mask was crafted by combining 3D printing with makeup and 2D images. Some special processing was used in places where the skin was more visible. The mask took roughly $150 to create it.
The mask used to fool Face ID
The iPhone X
Creating the mask was not a tough job as per the researchers and they only needed a half face for creating the mask. Face ID is not very reliable because it is not very strict and relies too much on AI, claims Bkav. It is worth noting that some others had tried to trick Face ID in the past but could not succeed. You can read about WIRED's failed attempt here. Researchers at Bkav say that a proper understanding of the mechanism of Face ID helped them in cracking it. A video showing the proof was posted by them, which you can watch below:
Is it a matter of much concern for the regular user? NO. But the flaw can be used to harm the super rich, leaders of major corporations, nation leaders etc. who have extra sensitive information on their devices. This security flaw teaches us that even companies like Apple, who claim to be the best, can sometimes make mistakes. Revelations like this are therefore very important. So stay safe and share your thoughts on the topic in the comments below.