About a month ago Samsung released its newest flagship phone, the Samsung Galaxy S8. One major selling point of the phone was the “iris scanning for airtight security”. But does Samsung’s newest flagship device really have “airtight security”?
Earlier this week the German hacking group Chaos Computer Club was able to trick the phone’s iris scanner into unlocking using only a contact lens and an image of a person’s face. They took an image of the phone owner’s face from a medium distance in night mode. Then they zoomed in on the man’s eye and printed out the image. They placed a contact lens on the iris and then held it up to the S8’s iris scanner. They were then granted access into the person’s phone using a very simple and easy method.
If you are using an iris scanner to lock your phone the hacking group recommends stopping now. All a person has to do is take a picture of you and then they possibly have access to anything stored on your phone. They may be able to retrieve your credit card info, password, images, videos, and any other sensitive items you may keep on your phone.
Biometric security features are being seen more and more frequently. But, this is a great example of how they are not always secure. Many believe that before people start using their body parts as security measures, the technology should be greatly improved upon.
Keep in mind however, someone can’t just use a selfie that you’ve posted on Instagram to break into your phone. The photo has certain requirements in order to be able to unlock your phone. As I stated earlier, pictures should be take at a medium distance, with the camera on night mode, the image should be high quality, and the target’s eyes should be looking directly into the camera.
That being said, is it really necessary to stop using your eyes as a security measure? I think it depends on what you store on your phone. If you store sensitive information on your phone such as payment info I would recommend using a PIN lock of something more secure than an iris scanner. But if you don’t store much sensitive information, there aren’t many people who would want to break into your phone, and you want a quick and convenient way of locking/unlocking your phone, then I’d say you’d be fine using the iris scanner.
Just remember that there is always a chance of someone stealing data from your phone, no matter the security measures you use. Nothing is completely secure, so be careful with what you store on your phone and how to protect it.
You can click here to view the Chaos Computer Club’s official statement. Also, check out the video below: