For everyone that’s just purchased an iPhone X, here’s a bit of potentially bad news. FaceID, the face-scanning technology used in the phone to detect your face and unlock the device, is apparently not as secure as Apple has claimed. (It’s previously said that there’s a roughly a one-in-1 million chance of a random person being able to unlock someone else’s iPhone X.)
Researchers at Vietnamese security firm Bkav released a video late last week claiming to have created a mask for $150 that can bypass the FaceID lock on an iPhone X:
While the creepy half-face mask does indeed appear to have unlocked the iPhone X in the video with ease, it’s not entirely clear if this test shows that anyone could potentially have their phone broken into with a few hours of arts and crafts work. As Ars Technica points out, Bkav does not make it clear whether its mask was able to open the iPhone on its first attempt, or whether the phone learnt over time not to distinguish between the mask and the phone owner’s real face. (FaceID on the iPhone X continually rescans and updates its face model to better learn the face of its owner.)
It’s also not clear whether the researchers used the person’s actual face as a model for their mask, or if it was built just using pictures of their face.
Apple declined to comment beyond linking to the FaceID support page on its website. Bkav did not respond to a request to further explain its methodologies.