Video: Galaxy Note 8’s Face Recognition Fooled With An Image

September 5, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

The Galaxy Note 8’s facial recognition system can be spoofed with a static image displayed on the screen of another smartphone, as suggested by an experiment one Mel Tajon conducted with a demo unit of the device found in Best Buy. The video of the short test can be seen below in its entirety, with Mr. Tajon seemingly having no problems unlocking Samsung’s latest Android flagship by presenting it with a single photograph of himself. The source claims that he managed to achieve the same result by using different profile pictures from his Facebook and Instagram profile and went on to question the security of the Galaxy Note 8’s facial recognition system.

The service itself was never advertised by Samsung as a secure authentication method since the firm debuted its proprietary take on the service with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus earlier this year. Instead, the South Korean original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifically encouraged its customers to avoid the functionality if they care about privacy and security and want to ensure that their devices are as safe as possible. Many industry analysts agreed with that sentiment, stating that Samsung’s facial recognition is far from ready for sensitive applications like mobile payments. The Galaxy S8 lineup was found to have a somewhat more serious security flaw which theoretically allows malicious individuals to fool its iris recognition scanner, though that particular vulnerability was still dismissed by Samsung, with the Seoul-based tech giant claiming that the previously revealed process of hacking the Galaxy S8’s iris recognition system was an extremely convoluted one and hence not suitable for practical applications, making its potential implications significantly less worrisome.

The Galaxy Note 8 itself was officially announced in late August following much anticipation and countless rumors, with Samsung debuting a device powered by the latest 10nm chips and 6GB of RAM which is set to be offered in several memory configurations, with the most affordable one boasting 64GB of internal storage. The phablet features a nearly bezel-less design and a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED panel with a QHD+ resolution and comes equipped with an S Pen, as well as a dual camera setup comprised of two 12-megapixel sensors and an 8-megapixel secondary lens. The device is currently available for pre-orders in many countries and is scheduled for a global release on September 15.