Hackers purport to find security hole in Galaxy S8’s iris scanner

SEOUL-- A European hacker community on Wednesday published a video showing a purported security hole in the iris scanner of Samsung's Galaxy S8 smartphone.

The Chaos Computer Club, a long-running European hacker collective based in Berlin, uploaded the video named "Circumventing the Samsung Galaxy S8 Iris Scanner" on its Web site, in which the smartphone is shown being fooled by an image of an iris with a contact lens placed over it.

In the video, the fake iris is produced by taking a photo of a person's eye with a digital camera in night mode. A contact lens was placed on the printed image to match the curvature of the lens of an actual eye.

Dirk Engling, a spokesperson of the CCC, was quoted as saying by the Guardian that "the security risk to the user from iris recognition is even bigger than with fingerprints."

"If you value the data on your phone -- and possibly want to even use it for payment -- using traditional pin protection is a safer approach than using body features for authentication," Engling said.

The Galaxy S8 smartphone is Samsung's latest flagship model that was released last month. It features a high-resolution display that bends on both sides and also comes with iris and face recognition scanners and a smart voice assistant program named Bixby.

The South Korean tech giant has been keeping a watchful eye on several reported technical issues -- including reports of excessively red-tinted displays and claims of spotty WiFi networks -- especially as the production of the Galaxy Note 7 phablet was suspended last year over safety issues with its battery.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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