All you need to open Apple’s Face ID is a 3D printer, silicone and paper tape, according to Vietnamese cybersecurity firm Bkav.
The company’s vice president Ngo Tuan Anh gave a demonstration of how to 3D print a mask made of plastic, with paper tape skin, a silicone nose and paper eyes, at the end of which he appeared to unlock the iPhone X.
Anh said he was not registering a user ID and the mask on the phone from scratch because the mask needed to be refined – a process that could take up to five hours.
For this reason, Bkav’s claim has been greeted with some scepticism.
Apple’s support page said that the probability of a random person unlocking another user’s phone with their face was approximately 1-in-a-million, compared to 1-in-50,000 for the previously used fingerprint scanner.
Cybersecurity experts said the fact that the Face ID could be hacked was not in question, more how much effort the operation required.
Though Bkav’s video was the first reported case of researchers appearing to fool the Apple software, the tools they use and the time spent on the hack mean it won’t be easily accessible to everyone.