Fingerprint scanners to facial recognition: Your phone can be easily fooled

First Published 6, Sep 2017, 5:19 PM IST
Fingerprint scanners to facial recognition Your phone isnt as secure as you believe
Highlights
  • The implications of simple things like a casual and famous peace sign while being snapped could be worrisome.
  • Facial recognition can be fooled using photos. 

From passcodes and patterns to fingerprint and iris scanners, smartphone security has evolved over the years. And, now facial recognition seems to be the next big leap for phone makers. But, do these really guarantee a device that can be kept secure from unauthorised access. Not really!

The implications of simple things like a casual and famous peace sign while being snapped could be worrisome. Now, that may sound weird, but it's true. Research by a team at Japan's National Institute of Informatics (NII) had warned users that high-quality cameras can easily copy the fingerprints in such photos. NII researchers were able to do so. So, think twice before casually making a peace sign in front of camera.

When the Samsung Galaxy S8 was launched, one of the key features were its facial recognition technology, along with iris and fingerprint scanner. This was aimed at tightening the security of the device. Later, a new video surfaced by iDeviceHelp showing it may not be the most secure way to lock your device. The video shows that the software can be tricked by using a photograph instead.

As you see in the video above, it took multiple attempts, but the software finally unlocked the device with a photo. So, though facial recognition may the newest feature, it isn't the best for your device compared to an iris scanner or a fingerprint scanner.

Many researchers have put forth that a person's password has to be inherently private, but your fingerprints and iris and face is out there for everyone to see. In a movie-like yet realistic scenario, imagine sipping wine at a bar while someone easily snaps off those fingerprints from the glass.

In a nutshell, security cannot be guaranteed. This is one reason why most secure objects prefer a code or a pin that is locked inside your mind for no one to see. But, yes you do need a sharp memory to remember all those pins.

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