How easy can the iPhone X’s facial recognition be cracked?

Our Goal

Our team will be attempting to crack the iPhone X facial recognition software. Our ultimate goal will be to 3D print a copy of a face and use that mask in order to open the iPhone X.

Has it been done before?

We headed to the web to begin our research on cracking the iPhone X facial recognition software using 3D printing. Although many of the sources we looked at discussed the possibility of using 3D printing to gain unauthorized access into the phone, there was only one record of this being successfully completed. A Vietnamese firm, BVAK Security, utilized a combination of paper mache, a 3D printed facial frame, and 2D photos of facial features.  You can watch their version of the ‘hack’ here:

While they did crack the code of the iPhone X, it wasn’t easy. BVAK likely had top of the line software. Looking at their situation gives us a challenge to answer the question of actually how easy it is to break the iPhone X facial recognition software.

As you can see, BKAV used a plethora of resources to crack the software. This served for good conversation about how exactly we wanted to approach this challenge. Their firm used silicone and 2D images to adjust the face to break the software. Our team believes that throughout our journey we will find that maybe all of these things aren’t actually needed to beat the iPhone X. It will be interesting to see the minimal amount of texture needed to gain access to the phone.

Next steps

After acquiring the 3D scanner, we will begin to scan and get a ‘first-try’ scan. Through doing this hopefully we will gain some experience with the different software we will be using throughout the semester to complete this challenge. We will also continue to research other possible methods that we could utilize if the 3D print itself isn’t successful. In addition to this, we have reached out to a plethora of professors that have experience in this realm of technology. We hope to hear back from at least one of them and hopefully be able to sit down and have a discussion about tips and things we may not be taking into account.