Galaxy S8′s facial recognition feature can apparently be fooled by a photo

We’ve already told you that the Galaxy S8 offers the most security options of any smartphone on the market right now. You can use a pattern or a pin to secure access to the device or use the fingerprint sensor that’s placed at the back. The handset also has an iris scanner if you’d like to use that and it even supports facial recognition.

Samsung highlighted the facial recognition feature during its Galaxy S8 presentation a couple of weeks ago. It’s meant to take the pain out of the unlocking process. You just have to pick up the phone and it instantly does its thing and unlocks the device when it detects the owner. However, it appears that the feature can be fooled by just a photo of the owner.

A video is making the rounds online which shows a Galaxy S8′s facial recognition feature being bypassed with a photo of the person it’s supposed to detect. It takes a few tries as the photo is hovered on top of the device but eventually it recognizes the user and unlocks the device.

It remains to be seen if Samsung will improve the facial recognition feature’s ability to distinguish between a photo and a real face by the time the handset comes to market.

It’s pertinent to mention here that the photo used was taken at the same angle and distance that the face would normally be at when the handset was being unlocked by the user directly. Whether or not this loophole will be of any use if the photo is taken at quite a bit of distance or at an extreme angle is unclear.

Do you think that Samsung should have used a 3D camera on the front to make the facial recognition feature more secure or is this something that you’re not too worried about? Let us know in the comments below.

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2 months 23 days ago

Facial Recognition is not something new. My 5 year old tablet running Android Jelly Bean also has it and it has 2MP front facing camera.

Liam H
2 months 25 days ago

I think people are taking phone locks too seriously. For me, whether it’s fingerprint/pass/etc. it’s to keep people i know from getting inside.. and i usually have it on me at all times. if my phone gets stolen i’m just gonna wipe it clean via android device manager so you shouldn’t worry about having your data stole n

2 months 25 days ago

Didnt plan on using it anyway, iris scanner worked just fine with the Note 7

2 months 25 days ago

I use face recognition on my surface pro 4.. I have no issues… Even i can keep my phone unlocked most of the time like trusted places

2 months 25 days ago

Use DNA recognition…

2 months 20 days ago

people will still complain cause can steal your dna. haha

2 months 25 days ago

Didn’t Google introduce​ the face recognition on the s4? That had the same flaw with being fooled by the picture.

Samsung only added this feature because they released they have screwed up on 2 things.

1. The FPS being moved to the back and in an awkward position. Very hard to reach even with big hands

2. The iris scanner is slow and non intuitive and much slower than the FPS. I.e. you need 3 steps to unlock the phone – hit power button, swipe one screen then align eyes. No one can say this is faster method than placing the finger onto the FPS

2 months 25 days ago

The Iris scanner is faster for other uses. Like opening secure folder, taping on and icon from the AOD, and etc.

2 months 25 days ago

But i don’t think that Samsung would overlook this and let a photo unlock your phone.

2 months 25 days ago

Never thought about a 3D camera but makes sense that the 3D camera will be able to do the facial recognition much better.

2 months 25 days ago

its demo software so i think we should wait to see when the phone hits the market before judging

2 months 25 days ago

If so than its theoriticaly nothing more than the Face unlock intruduce with android 4.0 ICS.
Realy if so easy to fool why not implementing android native feauture. Its also insecure as this…

2 months 25 days ago

and the price will !!!

2 months 25 days ago

I think Samsung should use infrared camera (used in iris scanner too) to check approx. face temperature while face recognition by selfie camera. If it’s about normal human body temperature — unlock the screen. If not — stay locked. This can be improved by firmware update, no any hardware changes needed.

Liam H
2 months 25 days ago

doesn’t make sense to use infrared. people would just heat up an image and the camera will notice heat signatures on the picture

2 months 25 days ago

I think Samsung should make it where the facial recognition technology should detect minimal movement moving the camera or your face a tiny but eliminating the picture problem.

2 months 25 days ago

blink detection like the original Google Face scanner from 4.4 days

2 months 25 days ago

Iris scanner seems to be more reliable than the new Facial Recognition feature. Needs to be addressed with a firmware update asap!

2 months 25 days ago

Not at all good. Most people have facebook, most people post selfies and close ups of their faces.. this could potentially make you extremely vulnerable should someone target you.
I would hope Samsung works on this to try and iron out this potential flaw.

2 months 25 days ago

That’s not that bad but still NOT a perfect security option. I believe I will use the Iris scanner rather than the face recognition. Sound more secure, although a little slower…

2 months 25 days ago

It seems to require a very precise photo, so no I am not worried I’d still likely use it. How many people keep Passport like photos of themselves on someone else’s phone?! lol

2 months 25 days ago

Still seems kinda dodgy, wait for the final release software and we will see but they absolutely should have abandoned the iris scanner and moved on to a depth sensing facial recognition camera, the facial scanner is already really fast, even if depth mapping the face takes it twice as long to unlock you’re still in your phone in less than 0.5 seconds.

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