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Researchers Fooled Samsung Galaxy S8 Iris Scanner With Photo And Contact Lens

Security is one of the major concern in today’s world. That’s the reason the smartphones are made highly secure on software side so that your data stay safe. For the same reason the smartphone comes with so many security features or options like PIN lock, pattern lock, password lock and even fingerprint lock.

Samsung introduced a new way for securing its smartphones and that was via an Iris scanner. Iris scanner basically scans your eyes and locks/unlocks your phones securely. This feature is used in the recently launched, Galaxy S8, S8 Plus.

Iris scanner was considered a very secure security feature until a German hacking group successfully fooled the Iris recognition system of Galaxy S8. Chaos Computer Club (CCC), a German hacking group unlocked the Galaxy S8 using a printed photo of the owner’s eye covered with a contact lens.

The contact lens used on the photo was for dummy eye to replicate a real eyeball surface of the owner. So basically it’s not very hard hard to bypass the Iris scanner lock. Samsung also announced integration of their Iris recognition authentication with its Samsung Pay payment system. So keeping a Iris lock system can be highly dangerous.

A spokesperson of CCC said that the Iris scanner lock is more risky than a fingerprint lock as we expose a lot of photos with our irises through internet and social media images. CCC also have demonstrated how to bypass Apple’s TouchID fingerprint sensors by using graphite powder, a laser etching machine and wood glue on Apple 5c.

Dirk Engling, spokesperson for the CCC said “If you value the data on your phone – and possibly want to even use it for payment – using the traditional PIN-protection is a safer approach than using body features for authentication” he also added that “A high-resolution picture from the internet is sufficient to capture an iris,”, “Ironically, we got the best results with laser printers made by Samsung.”

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While to assure its customers Samsung said that IRIS technology “developed through rigorous testing” and added “If there is a potential vulnerability or the advent of a new method that challenges our efforts to ensure security at any time, we will respond as quickly as possible to resolve the issue.”

Abhishek Bhatnagar

Abhishek Bhatnagar

Abhishek Bhatnagar, a known technology blogger & YouTuber from India. A Software Engineer by qualification, now he works as the editor-In-Chief, Webmaster, & Managing Director at Gadgets To Use. He runs a number of other technology websites as well.View Author posts