Published November 19, 2017
A precocious 10-year-old boy has hacked the Face ID of his parents’ iPhone X.
When New York City residents Attaullah Malik and Sana Sherwani received their brand new iPhones earlier this month, Sherwani told her son that “there’s no way you’re getting access to this phone.”
But the boy, Ammar Malik, who looks like his mother, picked up the phone without knowing it was hers and after a second staring at it, unlocked it. He found it funny, but his parents weren’t as amused.
Rather than a password or a fingerprint, Apple’s Face ID uses biometric technology to take precise measurements of the owner’s face as a form of security. Nevertheless, as the tech giant has conceded, even its latest innovation can be thwarted by identical twins or non-identical family members.
“My wife and I text all the time and there might be something we don’t want him to see. Now my wife has to delete her texts when there's something she doesn’t want Ammar to look at,” Malik told Wired.
Previously, hackers in Vietnam say they defeated Face ID by building a mask out of 3-D printed plastic, silicone, makeup and paper.
Malik told Wired that although his son is a “good kid,” it’s still concerning.
“If my son had access to my wife's phone and she had that app on it, he could order ice cream for himself whenever he wanted,” he told the technology publication.
After Sherwani registered her face in the phone, her son was able to consistently unlock it, as shown in a video above and in a post on LinkedIn.
Oddly enough, when Ammar tried to unlock his father’s phone, he could only do it one time. Malik told Wired that left him puzzled because his son’s face is smaller than his wife’s.
“People generally say he looks more like me,” said Malik.
Malik pointed out that parents may want to try Face ID on their children after setting it up.
"You should probably try it with every member of your family and see who can access it," he said.