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Facial Recognition Feature on Galaxy S8 Bypassed Using Just a Photo

The security of the facial recognition feature on Samsung's new Galaxy S8 smartphone has come into question, after a video was shared online that appears to show one of the handsets being unlocked by waving a photo of the user's face in front of the camera.

The YouTube video embedded below, recorded at the S8 launch event, shows the registered user of the device presenting a picture of himself to the phone's front-facing camera. After a couple of attempts, the phone recognizes the close-up selfie as the user's face, and the lock screen is subsequently bypassed.


Video posted by iDeviceHelp

Last month it was reported that Samsung had decided to add facial recognition to the Galaxy S8 because of late doubts about the speed and reliability of the iris scanning feature also included in phone, so it's possible that the software algorithms still require some fine-tuning. However, it's more likely that Samsung's cameras rely on standard 2D facial recognition technology, which past demonstrations have shown can be easily tricked with two-dimensional photos, suggesting use as a standalone authentication feature remains limited.

Indeed, in a statement given to ArsTechnica, Samsung explained that facial recognition cannot be used to authenticate mobile payments or to access the device's Secure Folder, both of which require the use of the phone's other biometric features.
The Galaxy S8 provides various levels of biometric authentication, with the highest level of authentication from the iris scanner and fingerprint reader. In addition, the Galaxy S8 provides users with multiple options to unlock their phones through both biometric security options, and convenient options such as swipe and facial recognition. It is important to reiterate that facial recognition, while convenient, can only be used for opening your Galaxy S8 and currently cannot be used to authenticate access to Samsung Pay or Secure Folder.
Apple is said to be including both iris scanning and a facial recognition feature in this year's high-end "iPhone 8" device. The OLED iPhone is rumored to have a "revolutionary" front-facing camera system with infrared 3D sensing capabilities, which may go some way to overcoming the facial authentication limitations such as those found in Samsung's device. Apple is also thought to be embedding its Touch ID fingerprint technology into a modified Samsung OLED display.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
Tag: Galaxy S8


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

4 weeks ago
Apple brings Touch ID: Media goes into a frenzy about how Apple is collecting our fingerprints.

Samsung does Iris, facial and fingerprint scanning: Nice of them to offer so much choice.
Rating: 85 Votes
4 weeks ago

This was the facial recognition not the iris scanner alao don't forget that the iPhone touch Id was bypassed by a nipple.


Bypassed or used with? Those are entirely different scenarios.
Rating: 68 Votes
4 weeks ago
Since you generally have to hold your phone to use it, I cannot imagine what could possibly be quicker and easier than an ultra-fast and reliable fingerprint scanner like Touch ID.
Rating: 51 Votes
4 weeks ago
Ha! Well that was quick!!
Rating: 44 Votes
4 weeks ago
So you can choose between secure Iris scanning which is slow as ****, unreliable and requires you to hold your phone in an awkward angle to your face and fast Face Recognition, which is as secure as a 2 digit passcode.

Cool.
Rating: 43 Votes
4 weeks ago

Just to make sure: we're talking about the facial recognition feature that has been present in Android for years and that has never been secure (and is also labelled as such in the OS). The S8 also comes with retina scan and a fingerprint scanner.
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Have you ever used an iris scanner? Didn't think so.

Have you even read the article? It says the iris scanner is slow and unreliable, so what's your problem?
Rating: 40 Votes
4 weeks ago

This was the facial recognition not the iris scanner alao don't forget that the iPhone touch Id was bypassed by a nipple.


What are you talking about? Touch ID also works with the tip of my nose, but it's still equally secure because my nose and nipples belong to me just like my fingerprints.
Rating: 25 Votes
4 weeks ago

This was the facial recognition not the iris scanner alao don't forget that the iPhone touch Id was bypassed by a nipple.


In what bizarro world would you have that person's nipple but not his fingerprint?

Bypassed or used with? Those are entirely different scenarios.


Used with. Amongst other appendages.

https://www.google.com.sg/amp/s/9to5mac.com/2013/09/21/touch-id-on-iphone-5s-can-be-used-with-more-than-just-your-fingers/amp/
Rating: 19 Votes
4 weeks ago

The sad thing is that those are features people use because they feel they are too important. I mean, what level of co dependency do you have with your smart phone?

I have an iPhone 5, my life runs well, my smart phone will not make my life better at all. So I do not get people using all those security crap. Just have a back up of your stuff and that is it! If it get lost you can delete it remotely and that is it.

Thankfully you are not in charge of the world's future technology curve or we'd never move on from fire in a cave.
Rating: 18 Votes
4 weeks ago


Have you ever used an iris scanner? Didn't think so.


There are lots of videos out there of Note 7.
You have to hold your phone in a way that puts your eyes inside of two medium sized circles shown on the display, which makes for an awkward angle and requires steady and precise holding.

When your eyes are exactly inside of the circle it works well, but the way of getting there is retarded.
Rating: 17 Votes

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