Feeds

Laptop facial recognition defeated by Photoshop

Taking a long hard stare at biometric security

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

White hat security researchers have demoed how to bypass the facial recognition systems on several laptops.

The facial recognition software on Lenovo, Asus and Toshiba laptops (known as Veriface III, SmartLogon 1.0.0005 and Face Recognition 2.0.2.32, respectively) was compromised by security researchers including Duc Nguyen, senior researcher at Vietnamese security firm Bkis.

Details of the hack are were outlined by a presentation entitled Your face is NOT your Password during the Blackhat security conference in Washington earlier this week.

The laptops use webcams in conjunction with facial biometric software, as an alternative to more well-established login techniques. The researchers claim that the log-in approach can be defeated using nothing more sophisticated than a photograph of a PC's registered user, or even Photoshopped images.

Nguyen and his team created a large number of images to run what they described a "fake face bruteforce" attack to fool the systems, which in fairness are still in their infancy, into allowing a log-on. The approach can be compared to trying out a huge number of possible text passwords until the right combination is stumbled upon as part of a conventional brute-force dictionary attack.

Laptop makers ought to review the whole approach of facial recognition as a login technique, the researchers argue.

"Lenovo, Asus, and Toshiba are known as the first three big computer manufacturers to put that technology into practical use and to bring about greater convenience for their customers," Nguyen explains. "The one question to ask is whether such technology is really safe and secure for its users to enjoy."

"My research, which is concluded in this paper, will prove that the mechanisms used by those three vendors haven’t met the security requirements needed by an authentication system and that they cannot wholly protected their users from being tampered," he adds. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.