Ice Cream Sandwich face unlock fooled by photo

Android, Android apps, Mobile phones, Samsung, Tech Digest news

One of Ice Cream Sandwich’s major features has been found to have a slight flaw. The face unlock application that requires the user to stand in front of the camera and the phone recognises your face and unlock has been tricked into unlocking with a printed picture.

This is causing a problem but also showing off the feature, all in one go. The video shows the Nexus Galaxy able to recognise the face from a picture on a glossy display, proving the real sensitivity of the camera application which does deserve a round of applause. But, holding your hands for just two seconds, this means that your photo can now unlock your phone, meaning other potential users could quite easily get into your new device.

Obviously there are going to have to be a couple of standards when it comes to using a picture to unlock the phone, in the video the Galaxy Note is used to take the picture. The Note has an 8MP camera, from the looks of things a very good 8MP camera. I doubt that the software would be fooled if it was shown a picture of you in a club with loads of your friends, or a blurry image from a lower spec phone. It would be interesting to see if Google came out with a response to this showing that you need a really good quality picture in order to unlock the device.

However,this update should be a concern for Google on the run up to the big release of the new software and will need to be an area that they will need to look into as a potential security flaw. Perhaps take a leaf out of many films including a secret agency and use both photo and voice recognition? Or go one step further and use finger print and Iris recognition for the ultimate protection for all your text messages and contacts.

Greg Collins
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