OnePlus 6 user cheats his phone’s Face Unlock feature with a picture of himself

Is it really that easy to trick OnePlus’ face recognition feature?

Update: tech2 reached out to OnePlus regarding the security of the OnePlus 6 Face Unlock feature and the article has been updated to reflect the same.

Remember all the tales of people cheating iPhone X’s Face ID and us freaking out over what Apple had handed over to us? That’s now happening to OnePlus’ Face Unlock feature too.

OnePlus 6's Face Unlock feature tricked with a user's photograph.

OnePlus 6's Face Unlock feature tricked with a user's photograph.

A Twitter user, who goes by the handle @rikvdujin, recently posted a video of him and his friend fooling OnePlus 6’s face recognition feature with a life-size printed photograph of his face.

We see in the video, that Rik’s friend puts his photo on his face like a mask, and uses it to unlock his OnePlus 6. While we see him struggling in unlocking the device for an initial few seconds, the mask does the trick eventually.

Unlike fingerprint sensors, the face recognition unlocking features only allow one face to be registered at a time. So it could not happen that both Rik and his friends were registered on the device.

The Twitter user posted it on Reddit too, saying that this photo-mask trick even worked when he used a black and white picture of his face.

Can you imagine if that is a genuine flaw, how dangerous could masks like these (below) be? That's why you must never ever have Face Unlock as the only means of unlocking your Android devices. It is not secure. Patterns, PINs and fingerprints for unlocking are still much secure options.

Tech2 reached out to OnePlus to know more about this Face Unlock fail and OnePlus came back with the following statement:

"We designed Face Unlock around convenience, and while we took corresponding measures to optimise its security we always recommended you use a password/PIN/fingerprint for security. For this reason Face Unlock is not enabled for any secure apps such as banking or payments. We’re constantly working to improve all of our technology, including Face Unlock."

OnePlus has recently started to rollout the Face Unlock feature to OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T devices as well. The feature rollout is part of the OxygenOS 5.0.3 update, which also brings the Android security patch to May 2018.

The update also brings improvements to the phones’ launcher, gallery, file manager and the weather app.

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