Galaxy Nexus Android 4.0 Face Unlock broken by picture

When Samsung and Google introduced the upcoming Galaxy Nexus smartphone with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) installed, they showed off a feature called Face Unlock which allows people to program their face into the smartphone and then use the phone's camera function to unlock it instead of a password. At the time of the phone's announcement it was suggested that the Face Unlock feature could be fooled just by putting a photo of the person in front of the phone.

One of Google's Android programmers, Tim Bray, tried to calm those fears in a Twitter message, adding, "Give us some credit." But now it seems that a web site has indeed discovered that the Face Unlock can indeed be beaten by a simple picture of the owner of the phone. SoyaCincau recorded their efforts and posted the result on YouTube in the above video.

In a later post on the same web site, the writer states that the video is not a hoax or trick. It also shows a picture of the Galaxy Nexus with information displayed about Face Unlock, saying flat out that someone that looks like the owner of the phone could in fact unlock the phone using this feature.

The bottom line is while Face Unlock may be a nice bullet point for the Galaxy Nexus and for Google's Android 4.0, people who really want to make sure the smartphone is as secure as it can be should rely more on a simple password than your own image.

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