Face ID Hack Talk at Black Hat Asia Canceled

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A security researcher canceled a talk at a major conference that promised to reveal how to hack Face ID. Wish Wu made the decision to withdraw at the request of his employer, Ant Financial. The firm called the work “incomplete” and “misleading.” Mr. Wu admitted he could not be replicate his hack on different models of iPhone.

Unable to Reproduce Face ID Attack

Mr. Wu was due to give a talk entitled “Bypass Strong Face ID: Everyone Can Deceive Depth and IR Camera and Algorithms” at Black Hat Asia.  The conference removed the abstract for the talk from its website in December. On Thursday, it emerged that talk had been canceled.

The researcher said he agreed with his firm’s decision to cancel the Face ID hack presentation. He told Reuters: “In order to ensure the credibility and maturity of the research results, we decided to cancel the speech.” His abstract claimed that Face ID could be hacked using an image printed using an image printed on a standard black-and-white printer and some tape. However, Mr. Wu revealed that he had only been able to reproduce the hack on an iPhone X under certain conditions. He said he had not been successful with an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max.

Ant Financial’s Alipay system is compatible with Face ID. It said: “The research on the face ID verification mechanism is incomplete and would be misleading if presented.”

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