Apple 'preparing to release new iPad' with key features of iPhone X

Tuesday, 14 Nov, 2017

A Vietnamese security company named Bkav claims to have rigged up a mask which successfully managed to fool the iPhone X into unlocking.

The smartphone rival admitted the flaw but said that it never claimed facial recognition was uncrackable.

The company says potential targets of this type of attack could be "billionaires, leaders of major corporations, [national] leaders.".

Because Face ID runs on artificial intelligence that learns each time it's used, the algorithm could have been trained to learn the human's face based off the mask in reverse.

The researchers say that much of the model was made using an off-the-shelf 3D printer whilst other elements like skin and nose were hand-made.

Bkav has declined to explain why its efforts succeeded where others' did not-thus, it's unclear how the firm did it, or how momentous the "hack" really is. And Face ID was not able to distinguish between the two.

The research team didn't go as far as to reconstruct accurate masks of the phone owner's face, compared to past experiments that failed.

"They have even gone and worked with professional mask makers and makeup artists in Hollywood to protect against these attempts to beat Face ID", Schiller said.

Apple declined to comment on the controversy beyond a detailed statement on its website that noted Face ID's security features, which it said involved "some of the most advanced hardware and software that we've ever created".

When Apple revealed the iPhone X way back in September, it declared there was a one in 1,000,000 chance its facial recognition software could be unlocked by the wrong person. For those who don't know, the face-scanning system on the iPhone works by a True Depth camera system that scans your face every time you are using your phone. Bkav then set about proving that Apple's facial recognition technology isn't secure, and it appears the company did just that - according to the video it released at least. That's because Face ID has the same timeouts as Apple's Touch ID feature. Face ID is even attention-aware.

In their newly released statement, Bkav has not specified how many attempts it took them to unlock the iPhone X. However they have stated the overall cost of making the mask was around $150. Remarkably, in spite of their fairly elaborate efforts - including "details like eyeholes created to allow real eye movement" and "thousands of eyebrow hairs inserted into the mask meant to look more like real hair" - Wired and Cloudflare didn't succeed.

To create their mask, they didn't use just one material, like silicone, but merged different techniques.