Planning to buy a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus device? Skip the facial unlocking feature. While it’s Samsung’s latest addition to a duo biometric system (iris + fingerprint scanning), it’s not at all as secure as the company is presenting it. A vlogger managed to fool it easily #biomagic
Samsung added a bunch of cool features to its latest devices including a triple biometric system. That means the smartphone can be locked and unlocked with iris, fingerprint and facial authentication. Passcodes are easily cracked and forgotten but biometric signatures don’t encounter this problem since they’re part of you. In theory, these should represent the safest paths to protect your data. That said, researchers have proven that most fingerprints can be cloned with a bit of effort and cheap materials. Iris prints are harder to replicate but faces can be easily replaced by high resolution photographs of the user.
Galaxy S8′ facial recognition system is a proof in that sense. Vlogger iDeviceHelp posted a video where Marcianotech played a bit with the device and managed to unlock it using a photograph taken with another phone. We’ve seen that Galaxy S8′ facial recognition system is incredibly fast and the hacking doesn’t take a lot of time, either:
Pretty scary, right? The truth is, if the software doesn’t come with liveness detection, there’s no way of stopping others from opening your phone using a photograph from your Social Media accounts. Only by detecting if the face used is alive or just a machine product, can the system take the right decision. The device has to track changes at the level of the face, like eye movements and extract features for a great success rate. Some companies even offer a mix of facial recognition and iris recognition software; FotoNation’s Face Recognition can be coupled with their MIRLIN Iris Recognition tech to combine the power to detect over 62 facial features with their proprietary liveness and spoof detection.
What can Samsung do for their S8 devices? Hopefully, solve the bug (if it’s a bug) until April 21, the official release date.