Samsung Galaxy S8’s Iris Scanner Was Hacked..Again

Samsung Galaxy S8's Iris Scanner Was Hacked..Again Credit: TechZ
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Aside from the doomed-to-ashes Galaxy Note 7, Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy S8 and S8+ are among the first commercially-available smartphones to feature next-generation iris scanning technology, which allows users to authenticate and unlock their devices by scanning the outer lens of their eyes. While the new-age security protocol certainly sounds futuristic and secure, there have been several occasions over the last few months where the Galaxy S8’s iris scanner has proven that perhaps it’s not such a viable layer of security, after all.

First Hack

For instance, back in March of this year, the folks at iDeviceHelp discovered a fatal flaw in Samsng’s iris scanning technology on the Galaxy S8. As iDrop News reported at the time, it was discovered in their tests that Samsung’s iris scanning feature could be fooled with little more than a picture of the user, allowing the authentication and unlocking of the device by simply holding up another smartphone, for example, displaying a photo of the S8’s owner on its screen.

Shortly after the flaw was discovered, Samsung issued a statement via Business Insider, in which the company appeared to reconcile that iris scanning technology is not, in fact, meant to be “a true security feature.” Instead, in Sammy’s unabashed defense, a spokesperson for the company went on to say that “Facial recognition is a convenient action to open your phone — similar to the ‘swipe to unlock’ action. We offer the highest levels of biometric authentication — fingerprint and iris — to lock you phone and authenticate access to Samsung Pay or Secure Folder.”

Yet Another Hack

Adding fuel to the discovery of this flaw, it was reported earlier this week that yet another group of German hackers were successfully able to breech Samsung’s iris recognition feature. According to Ars Technica, hackers affiliated with the Chaos Computer Club used nothing more than a digital camera, a Samsung laser printer, and a single contact lens to break the iris-scanning feature on Samsung’s Galaxy S8. They achieved this by capturing a photo of the S8 owner’s face, printing it out on paper, precisely aligning the contact lens with the owner’s iris on the printed photo, and then placing the photo in front of the S8 to unlock it. Check out the YouTube video below, in which the hackers demonstrate the process of hacking the S8’s iris scanner in action.

Apple’s 3D Facial Recognition Could Change Everything

While the viability of Samsung’s iris scanning technology has been brought into question on multiple occasions, Apple is poised to introduce its own form of advanced 3D facial recognition, which will debut later this year on the company’s iPhone 8 flagship. Whereas iris scanning involves scanning just the iris of the human eye, Apple’s facial recognition tech is rumored to be much more advanced, and will employ 3D imaging, biometric technology, and advanced optics in order to capture 3D images of a user’s face.

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