Iris Recognition On The Samsung Galaxy S8 Fooled

Lena Tucker
May 24, 2017

You can find out full details on how this was done on the Samsung Galaxy S8 over at the Chaos Computer Club at the link below. An ordinary photo doesn't contain the unique patterns in a person's eyes that can only be seen with an infrared sensor.

The image of the iris was then printed on a laser printer (ironically, a Samsung one) and a contact lens was placed on top to give it depth.

The CCC said iris recognition provided hardly any protection against strangers unlocking it while anyone who had a photo of the owner could trivially unlock it.

This accomplished, he could easily hack into the phone and completely access it.

This sounds scary, but consider the caveats. While that may be true, it's still not secure enough to deter a determined thief or hacker. "The technology, especially with the packed space and low computing power of mobile devices, is hard to make hack proof".

The video shows, the Galaxy S8 is unlocked using a printed photo of the owner's eye covered with a contact lens to replicate the curvature of a real eyeball.

Do you still have "peace of mind" now about the iris scanner keeping your phone secure? (Starbug says it's possible from as far as 4.57m.) Then, there's the whole printing situation, which would be limited by the quality of any given printer. Absolutely, and the company probably knows it. However, while Samsung might believe that the iris scanner is the best for security, hackers think otherwise.

The result is that when the image is held up to the iris scanner the handset is immediately unlocked and all options and data made accessible.

However, security researchers in Germany have discovered the new iris scanner isn't almost as secure as one might expect.

"At home, while streaming your favorite movie on your big screen TV from your smartphone via Samsung DeX, you could tell Bixby, it feels too warm in here". This iris recognition system has been employed on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and, before that, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. "There's an iris scanner for peace of mind". Due to the virtual home button on the S8, Samsung has moved the scanner to the back of the device. In the meantime, don't assume that your new Galaxy S8 is impenetrable.

First showcased with the Galaxy S8 smartphone, the Samsung DeX, or Desktop Extension, allows users to utilize smartphones like a personal computer by connecting it to a monitor.

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