Hackers Can Break Into Your Phone Using 3D-Printed Faces

Monday, 17 December 2018 - 1:18PM
Gadgets
Artificial Intelligence
Monday, 17 December 2018 - 1:18PM
Hackers Can Break Into Your Phone Using 3D-Printed Faces
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Composite adapted from Pixabay
Using biometrics seems like a smart way to protect your data since you're the only you, but it turns out that hackers have access to some pretty sophisticated tech and can use your face against you. 

Tech Crunch reports that a Forbes reporter was recently able to break into Android devices using a 3D printed model of his head that he had commissioned. According to the report, Thomas Brewster used his real face to register for facial recognition on five devices: an LG G7 ThinQ, a Samsung S9, a Samsung Note 8, a OnePlus 6, and the iPhone X. He then used his $380 model head, which was created by a company called Backface in the UK using a 50-camera setup and printed using gypsum powder, to try and unlock them. While some were slightly more difficult than others, all of the Android devices were fooled by the printed face-only the iPhone X could tell the difference.

"Apple's investment in its tech - which saw the company work with a Hollywood studio to create realistic masks to test Face ID - has clearly paid off," Brewster wrote in his report. "It was impossible to break in with the model." He also tried using the face to trick Microsoft's Window Hello software but it didn't work. Spokespersons for the phones tested told Forbes that while facial recognition makes unlocking phones "convenient," iris and fingerprints are recommended methods for locking devices because they provided the "highest level of biometric authentication."

To be fair, it would take a lot of work for a hacker to get a high quality scan of a person's head and then print a model of it just to unlock their device and steal their selfies. But when it comes to privacy, consumers want to know that they are protected against even the most elaborate and unlikely of schemes.
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