Picture, video, your brother - the Galaxy S10’s face unlock can be easily duped

Picture, video, your brother - the Galaxy S10’s face unlock can be easily duped
Not that we were expecting anything else from two-dimensional face recognition setup, but the Galaxy S10's front camera unlock can be chalked off to the convenience department, rather than to the secure biometry one.

It can apparently be fooled with a video of the person, a picture, or even a sibling whose facial features are similar. That's been a running trend with those identification systems that don't have the 3D depth-scanning parameters of Apple's Face ID kit or the camera sets on Android phones like the Mate 20 Pro.

Needless to say, those systems don't claim to be anything else than a convenience feature and there are disclaimers warning about the same, too. Samsung itself warns in the recognition option settings that "faster recognition improves speed but reduces security, increasing the possibility of a video or image being incorrectly recognized as your face."

There you have it, face scanning on the Galaxy S10 does exactly what it says on the tin, and if you want real biometric security on the phone, you'd have to use the in-display fingerprint scanner.


Related phones

Galaxy S10+
  • Display 6.4" 1440 x 3040 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4100 mAh

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31 Comments

1. Guseinguliev

Posts: 115; Member since: Mar 04, 2019

any normal person understands that without a special sensor it is not possible to make a protected front-facing camera. for this there is a warning. Samsung is not to blame here.

3. stijnvbml

Posts: 69; Member since: Feb 20, 2013

Any person on this site maybe, but the average consumer is not likely to know. If even a picture of your brother can unlock your phone, that is not a good thing. The average person does not research the face unlock feature and just uses it. Samsung is to blame here, since this is a very insecure method of unlocking.

5. maherk

Posts: 6870; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

If they can't read, then that's also on them. Samsung warns you while setting up face unlock that the feature isn't safe and your phone could be unlocked using a picture or a video, all while reminding you that your phone have a much safer biometric option in the fps scanner. They also mentions this when setting up Samsung Pass and the Secure Folder, you won't be able to use face unlock as a matter of fact. Bottom line is, average consumer or not, Samsung let's you know then consequence of using the 2d face unlock feature, and it's up to you whether you want to use it or not.

31. skips

Posts: 479; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

Why even offer the option of face unlock if it's so work around it so easily. Doesn't feel thoughtful at all.

7. pimpin83z

Posts: 541; Member since: Feb 08, 2019

"Samsung is to blame here, since this is a very insecure method of unlocking." So is every other manufacturer that uses the face as a method to unlock a phone as NONE have proven to be perfect.

26. Brewski

Posts: 690; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

Except that Apple touted theirs as "the most secure ever", did not give the warning that Samsung gives, and yet a woman's son could unlock her phone. At least Samsung owns the fact that it's not very secure and lets the customer know...

6. AbhiD

Posts: 799; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Yes, it won't be secure but no one expected this feature of Samsung's to be so easy to fool. Even OnePlus makes do with simple camera at front but it isn't this easy to fool. It doesn't recognise videos, other screens, and lookalike people. Even fails to recognise if even one eye isn't open. Samsung should have done a better job at optimising it

9. lyndon420

Posts: 6784; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

A passcode is still the best way to keep your phone locked.

11. Mike88

Posts: 393; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

So their face unlock is the most unsafe way to unlock and their fingerprint doesn't work reliably...I had an s8 with iris I removed the lock screen with eye alignment screen in settings which made my s8 to work like a more reliable inbuilt fingerprint scanner phone..because clicking on the always on 3d touch home button used to unlock my phone with iris making it feel like a true inbuilt fps...but when apple brought face ID I already announced that Samsung is late and people don't need an inbuilt fingerprint scanner anymore because altho face ID was just an in time replacement for inbuilt fps it worked better it's more secure and reliable and you can unlock your phone no matter which finger or hand you use even with wet hands..I love face ID on my iPhone xs and I'll say the illusion iris powered fps on my S8 was way better and secure than the current S10 real fps and face unlock..

13. midan

Posts: 2847; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Never going back to fps.

16. maherk

Posts: 6870; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

That's because you have no other option but to use the FaceID, once Apple implements a fps under the screen, you'll annoy us with how great the new the fingerprint scanner is.

20. midan

Posts: 2847; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Why would he do that? I've been already using fps many years and using one still with iPad and face ID is so much better in every day use. If someone put it under the screen it doesn't change usability wise anything, except it's worse like we have read from S10 users and reviews.

17. Man_Utd

Posts: 182; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

I'm going to laugh when Apple brings back the FPS!!!

19. drunkenjay

Posts: 1670; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

yes of course you wont until apple makes it.

23. Vancetastic

Posts: 1291; Member since: May 17, 2017

What are you doing on a Samsung article again? Hypocritical troll.

18. drunkenjay

Posts: 1670; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

i had the x and the xs max and i hate face id. it was crap. you cannot use it where you need to wear face masks which includes korea, china, japan and more. you also have to align your face when you lie down to unlock as well as using face id while you are using the phone horizontally. i loved touch id for that reason. the s10 does the job well in the inprint fingerprint sensor.

2. iushnt

Posts: 3097; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

They should have found a way to include that Iris scanner as well. It was very secured.

15. drunkenjay

Posts: 1670; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

it would probably mean that the cutout might be bigger due to more sensors.

4. slashas

Posts: 132; Member since: Jul 17, 2017

Samsung please enable payments with facial recognition and I will buy stuff with my brothers phone :D

8. DolmioMan

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

Or probably a stranger with moderately similar bone structure and hair colour.

10. Vyshak75

Posts: 79; Member since: Mar 03, 2016

All i see is a tweet. But no video. I know its not at all a secure one, but writing an article on a plain tweet?

12. midan

Posts: 2847; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

14. sissy246

Posts: 7110; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Not saying it can not be unlocked easy but, the 3er time on this video look at his finger on the button, you can see it move.

21. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Samsung should remove the Face Unlock feature in their next update. UFPS is just nice & reliable.

22. apple-rulz

Posts: 2112; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Samsung will include a form of 3D face unlocking just as soon as they can find someone to sell them the technology.

24. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Ya just like how Apple bought AuthenTec.

27. Man_Utd

Posts: 182; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

AuthenTec was for TouchID. Then Apple bought Israeli startup RealFace to create FaceID. Apple is no different from Samsung or other companies that purchase IP.

25. db1020000

Posts: 30; Member since: Feb 17, 2019

Either works or does not. A warning message is not an excuse. Samsung must remove the "face id" features from their phones.

30. mootu

Posts: 1517; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Why? If you don't want it just don't enable it, simple!

28. ShadowUnleashed

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 08, 2018

"Samsung itself warns in the recognition option settings that "faster recognition improves speed but reduces security, increasing the possibility of a video or image being incorrectly recognized as your face."" Yes. That's an actual option in the facial recognition settings. Just turn "Faster Recognition" off and it'll improve security by a good margin. I tried to fool my S8+ and I never managed to.

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