10-Year-Old Unlocks Face ID on His Mother’s iPhone X as Questionable Mask Spoofing Surfaces

A new video has surfaced of a 10-year-old child unlocking his mother’s iPhone X with his face even though Face ID was set up with her face.



The parents, Attaullah Malik and Sana Sherwani, 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 with his very first glance.

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.

The younger Malik was then consistently able to unlock his mother’s iPhone X, according to his parents. He was even able to unlock his father’s iPhone X, but only on one attempt, which he has since been unable to replicate.



WIRED reporter Andy Greenberg suggested that Sherwani re-register her face to see what would happen. Upon doing so, the iPhone X no longer allowed Ammar access. Interestingly, after Sherwani 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.

The parents clarified that no one ever entered the iPhone X’s passcode after any of the failed unlocking attempts. That’s important, 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.

Apple explains in its Face ID security paper:

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 against it. These augmentation processes allow Face ID to keep up with dramatic changes in your facial hair or makeup use, while minimizing false acceptance.

Given no passcode was ever entered, we can assume that Face ID never learned and adjusted for the son’s face.

The same Face ID security paper distinctly states that the probability of a false match is higher among children under the age of 13, because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed. Given the child is only 10 years old, and Apple’s information, what’s shown in the video isn’t a surprising flaw.

Nevertheless, the video is further evidence that Face ID isn’t 100 percent foolproof given just the right circumstances. If you are concerned about this, Apple merely recommends using only a passcode to authenticate.

In related news, Vietnamese security firm Bkav recently shared a video in which it was able to spoof Face ID with a mask. The video is generating headlines since Apple said Face ID uses sophisticated anti-spoofing neural networks to minimize its chances of being spoofed, including with a mask.



The mask was supposedly crafted by combining 3D printing with makeup and 2D images, with some special processing done on the cheeks and around the face. Bkav said the supplies to make it cost roughly $150.

We’re skeptical about the video given the lack of accompanying details. For instance, Bkav hasn’t specified whether it disabled Face ID’s default “Require Attention” feature, which provides an additional layer of security by verifying that you are looking at the iPhone before authentication is granted.

Even if the video is legitimate, it’s hardly something that the average person should be concerned about. The chances of someone creating such a sophisticated mask of your facial features would seem extremely slim.

Apple so far has not responded to the videos, beyond pointing reporters to its existing Face ID security paper we linked to above.

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Tag: Face ID
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Apple’s Head of Chip Design Talks About Face ID Security and More in Israeli Interview

Johny Srouji, Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies at Apple, recently talked about Israel’s contributions to Apple products, Face ID security, augmented reality, and more in a wide-ranging interview with Calcalist.



For context, Srouji leads the team responsible for custom silicon and hardware technologies like batteries, storage controllers, and application processors, including the new A11 Bionic chip in the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

The interview was published in Hebrew, so the quotes herein are loosely translated to English and may not be perfectly word for word.

Srouji started by complimenting Israel, where he was born and raised, for its significant contributions to Apple products. He said Apple now employs over 900 engineers in Israel, up from a reported 700 or so in 2015.

A few years ago, Apple opened research and development offices in Haifa, north of Tel Aviv, with the facilities serving as the iPhone maker’s second-largest R&D operations outside of the United States at the time.

There, a team of engineers are focused on chip design, testing, and engineering, according to Apple’s job listings over the years.

“The things we do in Israel are a significant part of every Apple device in the world,” said Srouji. He went on to say “the team in Israel is part of this long-term vision of excellence and perfection, so we’re here for the long term.”

Apple has also acquired several Israeli companies over the years, including PrimeSense, which developed the original Kinect sensor for Xbox. PrimeSense’s 3D sensing tech is believed to be at the core of Face ID on the iPhone X.

Apple later scooped up Israeli startup LinX, whose dual-lens camera technologies are likely used in the latest iPhone models. It also bought Israeli flash memory firm Anobit Technologies and facial recognition startup RealFace.

The interview later shifted to Face ID, which Srouji said is “the fastest and most secure” facial recognition system in the industry.

“Take the subject of user attention for identification,” said Srouji. “If I am not fully aware of the device—i.e. looking at it with my face directly—there is no detection.” He told the interviewer “you have to be happy about it because imagine you have the phone and I go aside and I can create a fake of it.”

Srouji also reflected on Apple’s new augmented reality platform ARKit. He said Apple is always looking far ahead with its chip designs, with a three-year roadmap leading into 2020. Read the full interview for his complete vision.

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You probably don’t need to worry about someone hacking your iPhone X’s Face ID with a mask

 Touted as the iPhone X’s new flagship form of device security, Face ID is a natural target for hackers. Just a week after the device’s release, Vietnamese research team Bkav claims to have cracked Apple’s facial recognition system using a replica face mask that combines printed 2D images with three-dimensional features. No one really knows how legitimate this purported hack is. Read More

Future HomePod Models Could Include Face ID Technology

A new rumor out of Apple’s supply chain over the weekend suggests future iterations of the HomePod could come with 3D-sensing cameras supporting Face ID, similar to the front-facing technology on the iPhone X. Specifically, Inventec Appliances president David Ho mentioned recently that the company sees a trend towards both facial and image recognition technology being incorporated into smart speakers, without specifying which speakers in particular (via Nikkei).

Ho made the comment following Inventec’s latest earnings conference, and analysts listening predict that he was likely referring to “the next generation of Apple’s HomePod.” Inventec Appliances is currently the sole supplier of both Apple’s AirPods and HomePod, but also makes Xiaomi smartphones, Fitbit devices, and Sonos speakers, among others. Given the company’s ties to Apple, analyst Jeff Pu predicts Ho’s comments could suggest a Face ID-enabled HomePod in 2019.

“We see trends that engineers are designing smart speakers that will not only come with voice recognition but also incorporate features such as facial and image recognition,” President David Ho told reporters after the company’s earnings conference.

Jeff Pu, an analyst at Yuanta Investment Consulting, said Apple could roll out HomePods with 3D-sensing cameras in 2019.

Ho said that facial recognition features “are set to make people’s lives more convenient and to make the product easier to use.” He further clarified his comments, however, citing hesitancy about whether smart speakers “with more AI features” would become popular.

HomePod is set to release in December, although Apple has yet to confirm a specific release date for the new device. The upcoming smart speaker was first revealed during WWDC in June, where Apple explained it would be a music-focused speaker with high quality sound, deep Siri integration, and spatial recognition for providing the best sound in any space. Even before it was officially announced, rumors of the device’s production were connected to Inventec Appliances.

Over a year before its unveiling at WWDC 2017, Apple’s “Siri Speaker” was rumored to include facial recognition of some kind as another leg up on competing Echo products from Amazon. At the time, sources with knowledge of Apple’s project said the device would be “self aware” and able to bring up different user profiles as people walk into a room, “such as the music and lighting they like.” The HomePod launching next month will lack any such features and instead be controlled mainly through voice-enabled user prompts with Siri.

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PSA: Don’t train Face ID on your sibling’s face accidentally

 Some people are griping about Face ID, noting that sometimes their siblings can open their iPhone Xs using Face ID. There’s a simple reason for this. When your sibling who kind of looks like you unsuccessfully tries to unlock your phone using their face and then you enter your password, you’re accidentally training Face ID on your sibling’s face. Therefore, if that same… Read More

A closer look at the capabilities and risks of iPhone X face mapping

 Face ID has already generated a lot of excitement but the switch to a facial biometric does raise privacy concerns — given that the human face is naturally an expression-rich medium which, inevitably, communicates a lot of information about its owner without them necessarily realizing it. Read More

Face ID Appears to Fail at Telling Apart Brothers Who Aren’t Twins in New Videos [Updated]

With the iPhone X now in the hands of thousands of customers around the world, many early adopters are putting Face ID to the test to see if Apple’s facial authentication system is as secure as it advertises.



Apple says the probability that a random person in the population could look at someone else’s iPhone X and unlock it using Face ID is approximately 1 in 1,000,000, compared to 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID, but it notes the probability of a false match is different for twins and siblings who look like you.

We’ve already seen that Face ID can be fooled by identical twins, and now a video shared on Reddit appears to confirm that Face ID can sometimes fail to distinguish between siblings who aren’t twins but have similar appearances.

IPhoneX Face ID fail? from iphone

In the video, the sibling who set up Face ID on his iPhone X was able to unlock the device with his face as expected. Next, he handed the iPhone to his brother. Face ID didn’t authenticate his brother’s face upon first attempt, but once he put on a pair of black rim glasses, his face was able to unlock the iPhone X.

Apple has been very transparent that Face ID can be less reliable in these situations, so the video doesn’t come across as a PR disaster in the making for the company. But, it does visualize that Face ID isn’t 100 percent failproof.

For those concerned about the security of their iPhone X in these cases, Apple’s only recommendation is to use a traditional passcode instead of Face ID for authentication. Unfortunately, at least for the time being, that means disabling one of the key new features of a smartphone that costs at least $1,000.

Update: A similar video has surfaced of two half-brothers unlocking the same iPhone X with Face ID. The younger brother is supposedly 14 years old.



Not only do the siblings look somewhat similar, but Apple said probability of a false match is also different among children under the age of 13, because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed. Perhaps the 14-year-old brother falls within that category, even if slightly older.

Update 2: In a follow-up video, the original brothers who posted on reddit reveal that Face ID initially failed to authenticate the second brother, but after inputting the passcode several times after failed attempts, it began to authenticate his face. The brothers’ faces were close enough in appearance that Face ID worked as intended by “learning” that it should recognize both brothers as the same person.

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Tag: Face ID
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1Password 7 Launching With Support for iPhone X, Face ID, Drag and Drop on iPad, Quick Copy, and More

AgileBits today is releasing 1Password 7 for iOS with several new features, just one day before the iPhone X launches around the world.



1Password has been redesigned with the iPhone X’s new screen size and dimensions in mind. The app now supports Face ID for unlocking with the iPhone X’s facial recognition system, in addition to the existing options of using Touch ID on older iPhone models or manually typing in a master password.

An all-new feature called Quick Copy makes it quicker to copy and paste usernames, passwords, and one-time passwords into apps that don’t support the 1Password extension. Simply open 1Password, copy the username for an app, switch to that app, paste your username, and then switch back to 1Password.



Without needing to do anything else, 1Password will put the password on the clipboard, meaning you can switch immediately back to the other app and paste it. If you’re logging into a site or service that supports one-time passwords, you can repeat the same app switching process to quickly get the one-time password.

1Password 7 also has a redesigned Favorites tab with drag and drop support on iPads running iOS 11 or later, support for Handoff across iOS devices, keyboard shortcuts for external keyboards, and a slightly refreshed app icon.



1Password is a popular password manager for securing usernames, passwords, credit cards, addresses, notes, bank accounts, driver’s licenses, passports, and more behind one master password, with end-to-end encryption. A built-in password generator lets you create strong, unique passwords and memorizable pass-phrases.

1Password 7 will be available today as a free update on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. An individual subscription costs $2.99 per month, which includes hosted service across Mac, iOS, Android, Windows, and 1Password.com.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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