The facial recognition on Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 can be fooled with a photo

Note 8 iris recognitionBusiness InsiderThe Galaxy Note 8 also has iris recognition, which is separate from face scanning.

The Galaxy Note 8 is Samsung’s latest top-of-the-line smartphone, and Business Insider’s testing revealed that it’s shaping up to be a fantastic overall device.

Unfortunately, there might be one major flaw.

Web developer and user experience designer Mel Tajon ran a test with the Note 8, and found its facial recognition feature can be tricked with a photograph.

The feature normally allows users to unlock the phone by scanning their face with the front-facing camera, in place of a passcode or fingerprint reader.

In a video posted by Tajon on Twitter, he holds two Note 8 devices in front of one another. One Note 8 just has a selfie of Tajon on screen, and that’s enough to fool the second device’s front-facing camera, giving him access to the phone.

What’s worse is that even relatively low-quality pictures such as those uploaded on Facebook and Instagram can seemingly do the trick. “Confirmed: I’m also able to unlock the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with people’s Facebook profile pics and Instagram selfies from my iPhone,” said Tajon.

With smartphones becoming the centralised hubs of our digital lives, and containing a lot of sensitive information about us (like the location of our home or credit card numbers), it’s pretty important that the devices feel secure.

For anyone worried: You don’t have to enable facial recognition. The Note 8 also lets you unlock the phone with your iris, fingerprint, or the old-fashioned passcode. 

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