Friday, 24 November, 2017

Samsung Galaxy S8 iris scanner tricked by photo, contact lens

Samsung sells over 10 million Galaxy S8 'Ultrasecure' Samsung Galaxy S8 iris scanner can be easily tricked, say hackers
Rosalie Gross | 28 May, 2017, 01:17

When it comes to security and the iris recognition technology used in its flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone, Samsung touted, "The patterns in your irises are unique to you and are virtually impossible to replicate, meaning iris authentication is one of the safest ways to keep your phone locked and the contents private". That's why the iris scanner on Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus is such a big deal, and that's why the company even felt confident enough to let people use the technology to make payments. The device also includes a fingerprint scanner, a facial recognition system and an iris scanner. It is much easier to rest your thumb or finger atop of a scanner or raise your smartphone so that it can recognize your eyes and face and have your smartphone unlock nearly instantly than having to enter a complex PIN or password every time you want to use it. "There's an iris scanner for peace of mind, face recognition that unlocks your phone in an instant, and defense-grade security that stands guard 24/7". "Under some circumstances, a high-resolution picture from the internet is sufficient to capture an iris", said Dirk Engling CCC member and biometrics security researcher in the blogpost which explains the hack. "Ironically, we got the best results with laser printers made by Samsung".

An attacker would have to print the photo using a laser printer and then add a contact lens on top of the scanned iris on the printed photo to emulate the curvature of the eye.

Samsung's hopes of competing against archrival Apple's iPhone had been pinned on the Galaxy S8 after last year's Note 7 disaster.

While it's obviously good news that Samsung is investigating the matter, this is the kind of issue that clearly should have been discovered during testing when the Galaxy S8 was in development. This trick fooled the iris recognition feature into acting as the real eye that was put in front of the camera.

The club said that the traditional PIN system for locking one's phone is a safer method than the iris scanner. He used a Sony digital camera in the night mode and captures an image of his friend's eyes. Until then, here's the CCC's video showing the hack in action. In fact, Samsung's new iris scanner is very easy to trick. Attackers cannot only get access to the phone's data, but also to the mobile wallet.

Though the photo does not need to be brought extremely close to the smartphone, using modes such as night-shot or removing the infrared filter aids to speed up the process of unlocking the Galaxy S8.

Samsung recently unveiled its Galaxy S8 device, which features an iris scanner.

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