Windows Hello

Windows 10 Facial Recognition Is A Hard Nut To Crack

Harder than the rather lauded Face ID on the iPhone X. Facial recognition systems are said to be the next big thing in computing, as companies continue to refine the technology.

Microsoft was in early for biometric authentication when it released the Lumia 950 XL all the way back in October 2015. Since then a number of other companies have embraced this, while Redmond has evolved Windows Hello and paved way for its implementation on devices like laptops and tablets.

So much so that facial recognition has replaced traditional passwords for many users.

However, despite their increasing usage, there are still some question marks on just how secure these security systems are.

Well, the researchers over at SySS have tried to answer that question, and found that the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update made Windows Hello even more secure than before. It withstood typical methods of biometric authentication, and did not allow passthrough.

Methods including using the face of a person photographed for use in official documents, as well as regular pictures taken with a near infrared camera.

Windows Hello even fared well against brightness and contrast adjustments, as well as paper printouts made with laser printers.

That said, older versions of Windows Hello are prone to crack:

“If only the Windows 10 operating system is updated from a vulnerable version like 1511 or 1607 to the latest version of 1709 without setting up Windows Hello face authentication anew, the described spoofing attack with a paper printout still works.”

In other words, Microsoft has nicely refined its security system further with the recently launched Fall Creators Update. This isn’t all that surprising when you consider just how much its products and services are used in the enterprise and corporate world.

Full research will be published in spring 2018, but in the meantime, users are recommended to upgrade to the Fall Creators Update if they are using Windows Hello for security purposes.