A new video has surfaced showing that a 10-year-old boy unlocking his mother’s iPhone X with his face even though Face ID was set up (authenticated) with her face.
The parents of the child said their fifth-grade son Ammar Malik simply picked up his mother’s new iPhone X without permission and. to their surprise, unlocked the device very easily with his first glance.
According to his parents, the younger Malik was then constantly able to unlock his mother’s iPhone X. And also able to unlock his father’s iPhone X, that too only on one attempt, which has since been unable to replicate.
A WIRED reporter suggested that Sherwani (kids mother) re-register her face to see what would happen. Upon doing so, the iPhone X no longer allowed Ammar access. Interestingly, after she tried registering her face again a few hours later in the same indoor, nighttime lighting conditions in which she first set up her iPhone X, the son was able to regain access with his face.
It has also been confirmed that no one ever entered the iPhone X’s passcode after any of the failed unlocking attempts. What’s important is, since when Face ID fails to recognize you beyond a certain threshold, and you immediately enter a passcode, the TrueDepth camera takes another capture to improve its reliability.
Given no passcode was ever entered, we can assume that Face ID never learned and adjusted to the son’s face.
Apple’s Face ID security paper states that the probability of a false match is higher among children under the age of 13. That’s because of their distinct facial features may not have fully deployed. Given the fact that the child is only 10 years old, and as per Apple’s info, what’s shown in the video isn’t a surprising flaw.
However, the video is further evidence that Face ID isn’t 100% foolproof given just the right circumstances. If you are concerned about this, Apple merely recommends using only a passcode to authenticate.
Here’s How Face ID Spoofed By A Child Using Mask
We are seeing a flood of videos on YouTube from iPhone users who have gotten their hands on the new iPhone X and are trying to trick the Face ID. When my wife and I received our iPhone X, we had no such intention. However, things changed right after we were done setting up our new iPhones on November 3rd. We were sitting down in our bedroom and were just done setting up the Face IDs, our 10-year-old son walked in anxious to get his hands on the new iPhone X. Right away my wife declared that he was not going to access her phone. Acting exactly as a kid would do when asked to not do something, he picked up her phone and with just a glance got right in.
As questionable mask spoofing, the Vietnamese security firm Bvak recently shared a video demonstration on how they were able to spoof Face ID with a mask. The chances of someone creating such a sophisticated mask of your facial features would seem extremely slim.
Conversely, if Face ID fails to recognize you, but the match quality is higher than a certain threshold and you immediately follow the failure by entering your passcode, Face ID takes another capture and augments its enrolled Face ID data with the newly calculated mathematical representation. This new Face ID data is discarded after a finite number of unlocks and if you stop matching it. These augmentation processes allow Face ID to keep up with dramatic changes in your facial hair or makeup use while minimizing false acceptance.
As far as Apple and its words are concerned, it has not responded to the videos, beyond pointing reporters to its existing Face ID security paper touted above.
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