Researchers are claiming a cheap mask can fool iPhone X Face ID

An Apple iPad is used in Las Vegas

An Apple iPad is used in Las Vegas

Vietnamese cyber security firm Bkav claims to have already tricked Face ID using a custom-made a mask-but don't return your iPhone X just yet. The cybersecurity firm did stress that "billionaires, leaders of major corporations, nation leaders and agents like FBI" need to be aware of the problem. At a presentation announcing iPhone X's facial recognition capabilities on September 12, almost two months before its November 3 release, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller said engineering teams developed artificial intelligence to help the product distinguish between real owners and masks. Wired also reported on the Bkav hack, comparing its own efforts against what we can glean from the video. It's enabled by Apple's TrueDepth camera, projecting and analyzing over 30,000 invisible dots to create a precise depth map of your face. Finally, to prove that the facial recognition software on the iPhone X is working correctly he unlocks the phone using his face.

When Apple introduced the iPhone X, the fact that the fingerprint-reading Touch ID had been entirely replaced by the face-scanning Face ID tech raised some eyebrows. In a Q&A, Bkav said that it understands "how AI of Face ID works and how to bypass it", but hasn't given specifics of how exactly it did it-nor whether the iPhone X was "imprinted" with the mask from the beginning. It's created to protect against spoofing by masks or other techniques through the use of sophisticated anti-spoofing neural networks.

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Face ID is still proving to be more secure than some of the facial recognition options in Android, which have been fooled with just photos in the past. Apple wrote in a white paper on Face ID that it is smart enough to know when it's looking at a mask. 'It will not affect the truth that Apple Face ID is not an effective security measure'. "You can try it out with your own iPhone X, the phone shall recognize you even when you cover a half of your face", the biz said in an advisory last updated on Saturday. Making the mask only cost $150 in materials, but required access to a detailed scan of the person's facial features and many hours of work by artists ... The facial recognition is also disabled if the iPhone X hasn't been unlocked for more than two days.

Ultimately, the company thinks this probably means that regular iPhone X users aren't at a high risk of having their phone hacked into by mischievous intruders armed with 3D printers and fake noses.

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"This seems like an unlikely sequence of events", Paul Norris, a systems engineer at security company Tripwire said.

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