A Dutch non-profit has tested 110 smartphone models and found that the facial recognition feature used for locking devices doesn’t work as intended on 42 phones.
The study, carried by Consumentenbond and its international partners, found that holding up a photo of the phone’s owner is enough to unlock 42 of the tested smartphones.
Any photo will do, such as ones obtained from social media, CCTV footage, or other means.
The results of this study are worrisome. Using a printed photo of the owner’s face is the first test that regular users, pen-testers, and attackers alike would use to break into a facial ID-protected smartphone before they move to try more complex attacks that involve creating masks or 3D printed heads of the phone’s owner.