Samsung S8 'eye security' fooled by photo

'Ultrasecure' Samsung Galaxy S8 iris scanner can be easily tricked, say hackers

SamsungA German hacker group called the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) released a video showing how easy it is to fool the Galaxy S8's iris scanner.

Samsung's Galaxy S8 is a fantastic Android phone by just about any measure, but if there's one area where the new flagship could use some serious work it's in the biometric department. "By far [the] most expensive part of the iris biometry hack was the purchase of the Galaxy S8", the group wrote on its website, according to Engadget. While Samsung acknowledged recent reports of its iris scanner being hacked, the Seoul-based tech giant suggested that it will investigate the issue like it would analyze any other possible vulnerability of its authentication technology.

The most significant advantage to using an iris scanner compared to face recognition is that ordinary photos normally can't fool it. They pulled it off taking a high-resolution photo, in night mode, of the target from around 5 metres away and printed a closeup of the eye in a laser printer.

Because the iris scanner uses infrared light, the night mode on the camera is enabled.




However, security researchers in Germany have discovered the new iris scanner isn't almost as secure as one might expect. In fact, some readers might argue that the pairing of the Galaxy S8 with the accessory is a much better option since users will have access to a myriad number of productivity applications that will not be present on the Windows 10 Mobile platform.

To bypass the feature created to offer an alternative to securely accessing the Galaxy S8 that does not involve using a fingerprint scanner or password, the hackers first took a photo of the registered user's face at medium distance using a digital camera. It promises to provide secure authentication utilising the unique pattern of the human iris. They then placed a regular contact lens on the eyeball to replicate a real eyeball.

At that time, Samsung would have wanted to integrate the fingerprint scanner into the display, but due to lack of time, it did not come true.

The hackers used a "good digital camera with 200mm-lens at a distance of up to five meters" to take a photo of a person's eye. In the meantime, don't assume that your new Galaxy S8 is impenetrable. Many biometric unlock methods have been found to be vulnerable.

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