iPhone X Face ID broken days after release?

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Olivia Storey

The release of the Apple iPhone X has introduced Face ID, but how secure is it?

Face ID is the facial recognition system used to unlock the iPhone X, the latest iPhone that was designed and released by Apple Inc. It replaces Touch ID which was present on all iPhones since the iPhone 5S, all iPads since the iPad Air 2, and since 2016 for MacBook Pro.

Face ID works by projecting 30,000 infrared dots onto your face and producing a 3D facial map, this map is then stored securely (not on the cloud). Face ID should not work if your eyes are closed, if it has not been accessed for 48 hours, if you’ve rebooted, or if it was disabled by the user.

Apple claim that the probability of someone else unlocking your phone is 1 in 1,000,000, however, Vietnamese security firm Bkav claims to have broken Face ID, just days after its release. Although it is yet to be confirmed by others security firms, Bkav used a mask to trick Face ID into unlocking, stating it is not an effective security measure.

Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, discusses facial recognition as a means of security and the claims made by Bkav.

“Although the video itself does leave a few questions to be answered, we need to understand that any of the ‘extra’ ID features of this and indeed any previous iPhone have always been aimed at the average user.

“TouchID and Facial recognition are there for ease not added security; both of these features can be and have been duped by technology.

“The question you need to ask yourself is ‘does this feature make my life easier?’ If the answer is yes and your phone just contains the ‘normal’ run of the mill level of private stuff then you’re good to go.

“If you’re a high profile celebrity or government official then you may need to ask yourself how much effort someone would go to in trying to replicate my fingerprint or face.

“Any security feature has the chance of being replicated or ‘hacked’, it often takes time, effort and a fair bit of money and or expertise to do so.

Does this kind of news make you less likely to buy an iPhone X? On the other hand, does it make no difference at all? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.

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