Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

2/12/2009
01:23 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Researchers Hack Faces In Biometric Facial Authentication Systems

Vietnamese researchers have cracked facial recognition technology in Lenovo, Asus, and Toshiba laptops; demonstration planned for Black Hat DC next week

A Vietnamese researcher will demonstrate at Black Hat DC next week how he and his colleagues were able to easily spoof and bypass biometric systems that authenticate users by scanning their faces.

The researchers cracked the biometric authentication embedded in Lenovo, Asus, and Toshiba laptops by spoofing the biometric systems with everything from a photo of the authorized user to brute-force hacking using fake facial images. They successfully bypassed Lenovo's Veriface III, Asus' SmartLogon V1.0.0005, and Toshiba's Face Recognition 2.0.2.32 -- each set to its highest security level -- demonstrating vulnerabilities in the systems that let an attacker cheat them with phony photos of the legitimate user and gain access to the laptops.

These Windows XP and Vista laptops come with built-in webcams that work with the facial-recognition technology. This form of authentication is considered more convenient than fingerprint scans and more secure than traditional passwords. The software scans the user's face and stores the images and facial characteristics. Then the user can log in by scanning his or her face, which is then matched against the image data.

The researchers were able to bypass the authentication system not only by using a photo of the authorized user, but also by creating multiple phony facial images. "The mechanisms used by those three vendors haven't met the security requirements needed by an authentication system, and they cannot wholly protect their users from being tampered," the researchers wrote in their paper on the hack.

One of the researchers, Nguyen Minh Duc, manager of the application security department at the BKIS (Bach Khoa Internetwork Security Center) at Hanoi University of Technology, will demonstrate the hack at Black Hat, as well as the tool he and his colleagues developed.

"There is no way to fix this vulnerability," Duc says. "Asus, Lenovo, and Toshiba have to remove this function from all the models of their laptops ... [they] must give an advisory to users all over the world: Stop using this [biometric] function."

An attacker can edit and adjust the lighting and angle of a phony photo to ensure the system will accept it, according to the researchers. "Due to the fact that a hacker doesn't know exactly how the face learnt by the system looks like, he has to create a large number of images...let us call this method of attack 'Fake Face Bruteforce.' It is just easy to do that with a wide range of image editing programs at the moment," they wrote in their paper.

"One special point we found out when studying those algorithms is that all of them work with images that have already been digitalized and gone through image processing. Consequently, we think that this is the weakest security spot in face recognition systems, generally, and access control system of the three vendors, particularly."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
AmmyW402
50%
50%
AmmyW402,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/7/2018 | 7:03:59 AM
asus pc link driver error 0x111
Hey! I am a new blog reader, I have no idea about the post. I read completely your post, I bookmarked your website URL for the latest post. I have interested in your post, it's very helpful for me. I have an error with Asus pc link driver error 0x111 just I want to know that how to handle this error.
Data Privacy Protections for the Most Vulnerable -- Children
Dimitri Sirota, Founder & CEO of BigID,  10/17/2019
Sodinokibi Ransomware: Where Attackers' Money Goes
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  10/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-18214
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-19
The Video_Converter app 0.1.0 for Nextcloud allows denial of service (CPU and memory consumption) via multiple concurrent conversions because many FFmpeg processes may be running at once. (The workload is not queued for serial execution.)
CVE-2019-18202
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-19
Information Disclosure is possible on WAGO Series PFC100 and PFC200 devices before FW12 due to improper access control. A remote attacker can check for the existence of paths and file names via crafted HTTP requests.
CVE-2019-18209
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-19
templates/pad.html in Etherpad-Lite 1.7.5 has XSS when the browser does not encode the path of the URL, as demonstrated by Internet Explorer.
CVE-2019-18198
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-18
In the Linux kernel before 5.3.4, a reference count usage error in the fib6_rule_suppress() function in the fib6 suppression feature of net/ipv6/fib6_rules.c, when handling the FIB_LOOKUP_NOREF flag, can be exploited by a local attacker to corrupt memory, aka CID-ca7a03c41753.
CVE-2019-18197
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-18
In xsltCopyText in transform.c in libxslt 1.1.33, a pointer variable isn't reset under certain circumstances. If the relevant memory area happened to be freed and reused in a certain way, a bounds check could fail and memory outside a buffer could be written to, or uninitialized data could be disclo...