How iPhone X got hacked.

How iPhone X’s Face ID Got Hacked?

The growth of technology limits to the sky and the end is improbable to be seen. The major area where the researchers and the technocrats are focusing these days is the security system based on the platform of Artificial Intelligence. The development in this zone have witnessed various drastic changes from password and pin codes unlocking to Touch ID to facial recognition to Face ID and much more are in the queue to be explored.

Recently iPhone X was launched and the major attraction of the phone was The Face ID feature. But the fortunes were not favour of Apple this time, and their prime Face ID feature got hacked. Moreover, this wasn’t the first time that some brand came up with Face Recognition security system in the mobile phones. Before iOS, Samsung also introduced the face recognition system on the Android-based mobile phones. This time we would be exploring the development in the security system, the beginning of Facial Recognition which then gave rise to Iris Scanner and then how Apple outshined the entire scenario through the most awaited FACE ID feature in iPhone X.


Researchers have been working on the security system based on face recognition since years. The technology sometimes shook hand and very often opposed the existence in the scenario due to the lack of proper implementation and other reasons. Let us delve into the journey of the changes that have come across till date and study about all the ups and downs that the industry have witnessed and how they keep on doing the changes to present the best possible in front of the customers.

Samsung S8 Face Recognition
Pic Credits: Androidcentral


The journey of security system took its start from Facial Recognition. Android was successfully able to give a brief idea of face recognition system to the people and the face unlocking came to Android in 2012. The least complicated and least secured feature of face unlocking was firstly introduced in Android version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Android phone used to grab an image of your face through the front-facing camera and then on the Google’s facial-recognition software processed it to build a set of data based on the image. While unlocking, once you hold the phone to your face, an image is collected, processed and compared to the stored data. If the image gets matched with the stored data the phone gets unlock.

Though Samsung invested a huge amount on the facial recognition and had several hopes with the system but when the technology came into use the outcomes were a little different than expected. The technology somewhere failed to withstand the demands of the user and the phone was getting unlocked easily through the image of the user.

3 D Imaging and Vision
Pic Credits- MICC

Samsung then invested millions and trillions this time and tried to improve the experience with Galaxy S8 and Note 8. In these sets, the scanning is done as soon as the screen is tapped and the processing is faster due to the betterment done in the quality of the camera and CPU.

The very first Iris Scanning feature was introduced in Samsung Galaxy Note7. In this feature, the eyeballs scanning through a computer was marked as authentication procedure. Every eye has a unique pattern in the Iris, even the left and right iris are not similar in the patterns. Thus, Samsung used the eyes as the credentials. Samsung brings into the use of infrared light and a special camera to collect and process data of your eyes. This data is then used to create the token and if the Iris scanner process provides the right token a security check gets passed.


Apart from all the technologies used and all the efforts engrossed in the Iris Scanner and Face Recognition feature of Samsung, a major flaw exists in it which raise a serious question against the security of the feature. The face unlocking feature that has been used in Iris Scanner and Face Recognition has a flaw that may allow snoopers to break into someone else’s phone.

The Face unlock uses a consumer’s Iris scan to unlock the device. But in a contradictory phrase, a user namely MARCHIANOPHONE  in a video has shown the phone getting unlocked using a 2D image of the phone’s user. The video depicts the Samsung Galaxy S8 device getting unlocked using the digital picture/photo of the user rendering the face unlock feature to be useless. Watch out how samsung facial recognition got compromised, check out the video here.


The facial recognition and Iris Scanner introduced by Samsung was a huge disappointment for the users. Both the technologies had a hard fall back to the ground but this was not the end of our hopes. Technocrats keep on breaking the ice and finally came up with FACE ID.


iPhone X is now up for the sale in the market and is on the hit list of the talk of the town. People are craving badly for its availability in the market and are waiting to grab the set in their hands as soon as possible. The craze among the people is obviously worth as the set is sanctioned with a number of features that are unlikely to be seen in any other brand till date. The most alluring feature of the set is THE FACE ID.

The Face ID is a facial recognition security system, designed and developed by Apple Inc. The feature is included in Apple’s iPhone X, which is the most attractive feature of the set. The feature was launched on September 12, 2017, in Steve Jobs Theatre by Phill Schiller and Craig Federighi . The Face ID is expected to replace the Touch ID and Apple tends to claim that the probability of someone else’s unlocking the phone is 1 in 1,000,000 which was 1 in 50,000 in case of Touch ID.

Components Used in Face ID

It has been stated by Apple that the facial recognition is stored locally in a secure enclave on the Apple A11 bionic chip and is not stored in the cloud. They also stated that the system is not going to work with the closed eyes and thus the entire technique is expected to be highly secure.

However, apart from the assurity claimed by Apple, there are a few limitations attached to the feature. Face ID is prone to be abused by an identical twin. The probability of unlocking is very different in case of the siblings and twins who look similar. The probability is also different in case of the children below the age of 13 years. The reason being stated behind is that there may be a possibility that the distinct facial features of the children may not have been developed entirely.


Pic Credits: Reuter | Ngo Tuan Anh, Vice President of Bkav, a Vietnamese cybersecurity firm, demonstrates iPhone X Apple’s face recognition ID software with a 3D mask at his office in Hanoi, Vietnam Nov 14, 2017.

Apple though claimed full assurity of Face ID in iPhone X, but a Vietnamese security firm viz. Bkav‘  asserted to have cracked Apple’s iPhone X Face ID security system on November 9, 2017. They hacked the security system with the help of a mass that apparently cost $150 USD. The face dupe was designed with a composite mask of 3D printed plastic, silicon, makeup and paper tape. The firm accused of unlocking the phone when the mask was pointed towards it. The security firm also uploaded a video as a proof depicting the entire hack. You can see the video here.

Pic Credits: Wired | Face ID Inline Diagram

However, Apple Engineering Team claimed that they have gone and worked with the makeup artists of Hollywood and professional mask makers to protect and examine the Face ID security system against these attempts. Moreover the bad news for all the I Phone lovers is that the Face ID of iPhone X failed to satisfy the user content.


We are at the verge where Apple’s iPhone X face ID has been hacked and on the other hand Samsung’s Iris Scanner is not considered that secure due to the 2D unlocking flaw but is this the end?

No, this is just the beginning and a bang is about to come in the future. Artificial Intelligence has already given us a huge platform to extract the best of all and after foreseeing the entire scenario this may be noted that Apple has severely outclassed the competition in this regard and set a high bar to jump ahead. In regard to the same AI has a lot more to do to improve the entire subject and present it in a more better way.


Artificial Intelligence has just come into account and several drastic changes are already visible in the technologies. We switched from keypads to touch screens, passwords to pin codes, pin codes to patterns, patterns to Touch ID and the most amazing of all Touch ID to Face ID and a lot more is still to come. In the upcoming years, the Face ID is likely to bring up a massive change in the security system and a more secure domain is waiting to outreach the current scenario.

Feel free to explore and gain more knowledge about artificial intelligence and computer vision for getting better insights of the AI world. If you really liked reading our blog post, please do like and subscribe us for latest updates and If you have any questions, feel free to drop them below in the comments section.