Isn’t it amazing what you can do with technology these days? I might be a Millennial, but I can still vividly remember the days of dial-up internet, Sega Dreamcasts and Nokia cellphones capable of surviving a nuclear winter. There’s still plenty of youth in my bones yet, but the tech industry has been on an insane upward trend, and I can barely handle it.
Just a couple months ago, the guys up at Apple unveiled the iPhone X, which marks 10 years since the bespectacled, be-turtlenecked Steve Jobs first tried to sell us on the iPhone. Time flies, doesn’t it? One of the iPhone X’s flagship features is FaceID, which unlocks your phone with little more than your assorted eyes, ears and nose.
The problem with all this new tech, though, is that it can sometimes be pretty easily hacked, and this technique for fooling Face ID certainly gave us food for thought in more ways than one. This video from FaceTec, a biometric security company who are also working on their own facial recognition app called ZoOm, will probably make you think twice about hiding all your vital info behind your face.
Before we go into the video, let’s have a little refresher session on exactly how FaceID works.
Introduced as an upgrade on Apple’s TouchID feature, which allowed you to unlock your phone and pay for a variety of things using only your fingerprint, your phone uses 30,000 infrared dots to create a 3D map of your face, which can then be used to secure your iPhone X. It doesn’t work, however, if the face’s eyes aren’t open, meaning your phone can’t be accessed while you’re sleeping.
However, that groundbreaking technology isn’t exactly foolproof just yet. A number of hackers have claimed to have already bested FaceID, and FaceTec showed that emphatically by unlocking an iPhone with little more than the toppings you’d find on a pizza.
For this video, they tested the iPhone X’s FaceID on a sleeping man, but here’s the twist: they placed a number of pizza toppings on his face where his eyes would be. Olives, mushrooms, even pepperoni; apparently, if you want to beat facial recognition software, all you need is to be hungry enough to order a pizza.
They also opened the iPhone with a pair of bottle caps, but that took quite a few attempts before the machine was fooled. This experiment was all in service of FaceTec’s own app called ZoOm, which takes two facial maps from each user; one from a regular distance, and one from up close, which apparently makes it a whole lot more secure.
Well there you have it, folks. If you’re looking to put together an Ocean’s Eleven-esque heist, but keep getting stuck on how to fool your target’s facial recognition software, maybe we’ve provided you with a definite hint. For the rest of us, I’d be extra careful ordering that pizza if you have an iPhone X, and you’re feeling kind of sleepy. You never know what might happen.