Cracking the Face Recognition Lock on Android

Since Android 4.0 is available, the user has the possibility to unlock his smartphone by looking in the front-camera. This feature is called face unlock.

Just some hours after Google has presented the new Android version including this feature, it was broken by some blogger who just hold a picture of the person the smartphone belongs to in front of the locked smartphone. As a proof, there are plenty videos on youtube. With this demonstration in mind, you have to come to the conclusion that face recognition isn't a real lock feature, its more a fancy way of the old screen lock were you just have to swipe over the display.

In all fairness, Google did mention that face unlock is less secure than a pattern, pin or password and that someone that looks similar to you could unlock your phone, but they didn't mention, that it is so easy to unlock it.

In other words:

  • just take a picture of the smartphone owner
  • hold this picture in front of the smartphone when unlocking it

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One Response to “Cracking the Face Recognition Lock on Android”

  1. SaferMobile » Monday’s Mobile Threat Report Says:

    [...] PIN ALERT:  We often suggest that you put a PIN on your phone as a very first line of defense, but know that this is a feeble defense at best.  Handy instructions on how to crack a pin and password lock on Android are here, how to crack the pattern lock here, and for good measure, see how easy it is to crack the face recognition lock on Android. [...]

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