Android 4.0 Face Unlock Feature Fooled with Photo in Samsung Galaxy Note
Looks like Google has their work cut out for them. During the Samsung Galaxy Note regional launch in Jakarta, where we also got some hands-on time with the Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus, the folks from SoyaCincau made a startling discovery - the Face Unlock feature on Google Android 4.0 can be fooled into unlocking with a photo.
SoyaCincau reiterates that the Galaxy Nexus in the video was set up to recognize a face and not a picture of a face. All doubts about the authenticity of the video could have been dismissed with a single video footage showing the Galaxy Nexus being programmed to recognize a face, followed by the unlocking with a picture of the face in the same video. Unfortunately, this wasn't done during the event.
This discovery is contrary to what we've heard from Google's Android-focused Developer Tim Bray saying on Twitter that it can't be done and to give the company some credit. This was a direct response to CyanogenMod's lead developer Koushik Dutta and his comment on the face recognition feature being easily hackable with a photo.
As with all pre-release software, the Face Unlock feature might get further tweaks to enhance its security, and Google did put a note on the setting that states Face Unlock is low-security and experimental. Once the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 hits our labs, we'll be doing our own tests to ascertain this issue.