Heavy sleepers, beware: Researchers bypass Apple FaceID using glasses with tape

Heavy sleepers should probably not leave their iPhones lying around, after a team of security researchers exposed a vulnerability with the FaceID facial recognition system using an ordinary pair of glasses and two colors of tape.

In the session at Black Hat USA 2019 titled Biometric Authentication Under Threat: Liveness Detection Hacking, researchers from Tencent demonstrated how to exploit a specific vulnerability in FaceID.

Liveness detection is part of the biometric authentication process that separates real facial features from the fake ones. Part of the process is determining whether a person is awake with eyes open, or asleep with eyes closed. If the iris and pupil are not detected, then the device will not unlock.

Meanwhile, Apple’s facial recognition system allows iPhone owners to unlock their devices even while they are wearing glasses. However, once FaceID detects glasses, it skips extracting information from the eye area.

Combining these two features, the Tencent researchers figured out a way to bypass FaceID by sticking black tape on the center of each lens, and then white tape in the middle of each black tape. The black tape and white tape represent the iris and pupil, respectively.

Once the glasses are worn by victims, holding up their iPhone to their faces will trick FaceID and unlock the devices, giving the attacker access.

Regular iPhone owners will not have to worry about the FaceID vulnerability, as it will be difficult to put glasses on sleeping people without waking them up. The exploit will be effective when the victim is unconscious though, which will probably raise more alarms than an unlocked iPhone.

The method presented by the Tencent researchers is similar to the adversarial glasses that have baffled facial recognition systems. There have been other ways of fooling the technology such as a baseball cap studded with LEDs and a mash-up of a mask, but the glasses with tape trick appears to be the easiest to pull off so far.

Apple itself was at the Black Hat conference to announce an expanded bug bounty program that will pay $1 million for researchers who can discover a “zero-click full chain kernel execution attack with persistence.”


These fraudulent Android apps were downloaded 8 million times

According to a new report from security research firm Trend Micro, a hefty 85 Android apps have been caught serving fraudulent ads that take over the user's screen -- and those apps have been downloaded 8 million times.

Score this Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus with a huge $101 discount at Amazon

If you're thinking about upgrading your phone and not willing to expend over $800 on the S10, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a great option. It's discounted by $101 at Amazon, dropping its price from $700 to only $599.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.

Grab the terrific Samsung Galaxy A50 phone for $126 less on Amazon

Samsung is mostly known for its premium Galaxy S and Note Series phones, but it also manufactures cheaper phones through the A-Series. An example is the Samsung Galaxy A50 which not only looks great but also boasts a lot of features.

Best alternatives to Google’s preinstalled Android apps

Want to get away from Google's preinstalled Android apps, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Maps? These are the best alternatives to the apps that come with your phone, which are pretty great, but not for everybody.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what do you do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether via an email client or Windows 10.
Product Review

Here's what we think after a weekend with Samsung's giant Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 Plus is here, and it’s the biggest and best Samsung phone ever. Its key feature is its looks, as it has an attractive rear design, highlighted by the new Aura Glow color, but little else has changed.

Looking for love or just some fun? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.

Small companies may differ, but all need good, reasonably priced cell service

There's no single cell phone plan that will suit every small company, but with numerous high quality plans from a variety of major carriers, you will find one that suits your needs. We pick some plans and outline what you need to know.

Fitbit Versa 2 will reportedly roll out September 15 with OLED display, Alexa

Leaked images confirm that the Fitbit Versa 2 will come with an OLED display and Alexa integration, with more than four days of battery life. A source claims that the Fitbit Versa successor will be released on September 15.
Social Media

Twitter’s latest effort to tackle abusive content focuses on Direct Messages

Twitter launched a new feature designed to filter out abusive Direct Messages from people you don't follow. The content is collected in one place and can still be viewed if you want to periodically check what's coming in.

3 to beam up: Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo collaborate on new file transfer feature

Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are working together on a new device-to-device file transfer feature for Android. The unnamed feature will be used instead of Android Beam when it's retired from Android in the near future.

Nokia 7.2 case renders reveal a round triple-lens camera design

According to the latest rumors, we can expect the Nokia 7.2 to be a phone with a large screen over 6 inches and a triple-camera system. Here's all the news and rumors about the Nokia 7.2.

MediaTek and Huawei’s partnership may mean cheap 5G phones in early 2020

Huawei has reportedly made a deal with MediaTek to use its new 5G SoC in a low-cost 5G smartphone expected to launch in early 2020. MediaTek launched the 5G SoC in May, and indicated the first phones to use it would come next year.