Samsung: “tricking iris recognition unrealistic in real life”

Posted 25 May 2017 17:52 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

It’s hardly possible “in real life” to trick the iris scanner of the Samsung Galaxy S8 with a printed photo of an eye with a contact lens in front of it, according to a spokesman for Samsung in an interview with The Korea Herald.

Earlier this week we reported how the German hackers from the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) demonstrated how he made laser print of a photo of his eye and held a contact lens in front it. He then held them together in front of the iris scanner of the S8 which was tricked into believing it was a real eye after which the phone unlocked.

“Although the one-minute video (that shows the sensor being fooled with a dummy eye) appears simple, it is hard to see that happening in real life,” according to the Samsung spokesperson.

“You need a camera that can capture infrared light (used in the video), which is no longer available in the market. Also, you need to take a photo of the owner’s iris and steal his smartphone. It is difficult for the whole scenario to happen in reality.”

However, Samsung doesn’t deny that it’s possible to trick the iris scanner with the method of CCC, it only argues that there is little chance S8 owners would become a victim of such a hack. With the release of the iris scanner, Samsung presented it as one of the safest ways to lock your phone. The security measure is e.g. used for Samsung Pay. settings

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