3D printers have been used to model many things, from prosthetics to the cornea of the human eye and much more. While there is little doubt that 3D printing as a technology is only growing, it can also be used for some nefarious purposes, specifically to unlock a device that uses 3D facial authentication.
According to report by Forbes, his reporter commissioned a 3D printer to make a 3D replica of his head to see whether or not the 3D face authentication security mechanisms on smartphones would hold up. For this test, he used the iPhone X and four Android devices that were the LG G7 ThinQ, a Samsung S9, a Samsung Note 8 and OnePlus 6.
Only the iPhone X remained locked while Android phones were unlocked using the 3D mirror.
Does this mean that your Android phones with facial authentication are vulnerable? Since the iPhone became a facial recognition brand in 2017, almost every Android maker began emulating the Cupertino giant by including their own versions of Face Unlock on Android devices.
While some smartphone makers like Huawei and Oppo have included proper 3D facial recognition in their flagship devices, others like OnePlus and Samsung use a simplified 2D face map that can be more easily fooled. It is not the safest way to unlock a device as Albiet is really fast. Unlocking via PIN, pattern or fingerprint on Android devices is still the safest option.
In the US, law enforcement agencies are using facial and finger biometrics to unlock smartphones. report by TechCrunch. While your phone password is protected by the 5th Amendment, legal officials can still open your device by holding your device in front of your face or in front of its 3D-modeled replica.
Still, Jake Laperruque, senior attorney for the Government Oversight Project, believes this is not the most cost-effective way for police to obtain personal data from your phone.
“I think the great threat is that a system in which anyone, police or criminals, can access your phone and show you face to face, is a system with serious security limits.” TechCrunch.