Google Galaxy Nexus security flaw using face unlock
Today I was playing MW3 on my Playstation3 and I thought it would be nice to have the online players face somewhat showing on the screen, I was imagining how this could be done so I look for inspiration on my newest gadget the GALAXY NEXUS which just arrived a few days ago.
One of the functionalities I like the most is the face recognition feature and I use it from day one.
But first let me tell you what i think about the Galaxy Nexus, I’m so thrilled with it that i don’t see any negative spots yet, the one i can remember it’s also a positive thing and is it’s size.
Apart from that the screen is simply astonishing and the speed and easy to use make this phone a rock star, I know this isn’t an objective review on the mobile phone but this post is not intended to be a review.
On the other end there is a functionality that is also a very big security flaw – FACE UNLOCK.
Google warns you about face recognition not being the safest of methods to unlock your phone, but nevertheless you can pass the locking feature just by using any other photo of you.
I used my facebook.com photos to unlock the phone and I had about 80% success with a couple of face photos, nevertheless I didn’t succeed with the profile photo (maybe the resolution was too low, on the smaller picture). This trick took me less than a minute to accomplish.
It’s not an high tech hack, and it probably works if your phone is stolen or lost, but it won’t save you from your jealous girlfriend (or boyfriend), won’t save you from your dads or sons. In the end it’s way too easy for someone familiar with you to access your personal data if you use face unlock.
Maybe this could be fixed using the phone proximity sensor that could be used to determine the distance of the phone to the face (i was only successful using the phone about 10-15cm from the monitor), also recording the phone relative inclination with the face and finally by detecting any type of movement on the moment the face is being verified.
Despite one of the biggest innovations being a big “no go” at least in my opinion, I still love my Nexus.
That’s all folks,