How Researchers Hacked FaceID Using Modified Glasses On Unconscious Users

Apple FaceID Hack Black Hat

Yeah, I know it doesn’t sound right, but this is what researchers have come up with. At the ongoing Black Hat conference in the USA, security researchers showed a weird method to hack Apple’s Face ID biometric system.

The hack involves a pair of glasses with tape on them, fooling the Attention Detection feature of Face ID, and last but not the least, an unconscious owner. Researchers didn’t detail the last step, so I will leave that up to you.

The foundation of the hack is fooling the Face ID’s attention detection feature that extracts 3D information from the eye of the owner, during a biometric scan. The feature is designed to differentiate between what’s real and what’s fake. As ThreatPost reports, the system essentially monitors background noise, response distortion or focus blur.

At the conference, the researchers also explained how the “liveness detection” scan works in the first place. “The abstraction of the eye for liveness detection renders a black area (the eye) with a white point on it (the iris),” writes ThreatPost. The interesting part is the gaze detection feature doesn’t work when the iPhone user is wearing spectacles.

This is where the X-Glasses (as researchers put it) come in. To fool the liveness detection feature, the researchers took a pair of glasses and carefully placed black tape on the lenses, along with a white tape inside the black tape. Once the victim wore the modified glasses, researchers could easily gain access to their iPhone.

However, the biggest caveat in the entire process is how to place those glasses on the victims face. Even the slightest moment might wake up the victim, given he/she is not entirely unconscious. Of course, this is only my imagination going wild. I would request all our readers to refrain from trying any such a thing.

Also Read: Apple Expands Bug Bounty Program To macOS; Rewards Up To $1 Million

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