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Galaxy S8 Facial Recognition Has a Big Flaw

Samsung's Galaxy S8 comes with several biometric features -- including one that could be fooled pretty easily, according to a report.

A video has surfaced online that shows a person placing a photo in front of the Galaxy S8. The device's facial-recognition feature then sees the photo, which shows a person's face, and the handset unlocks. It takes a couple of times to get it right, but the video, which was earlier reported on by SamMobile, suggests the Galaxy S8's facial-recognition feature can be rather easily duped.

Samsung touted the handset's security features during the Galaxy S8 launch event. The company noted that the handset comes with a fingerprint reader on the back to complement its facial recognition and iris scanner features.

More: Galaxy S8 Hands-on: Return of the King

The facial-recognition feature is rather simple. Users  set it to recognize the owner's face and when they pick up the locked handset, the front-facing camera analyzes the face and--if it matches what's been stored internally--the smartphone will unlock.

The Galaxy S8's facial recognition could potentially be fooled by a photo. Credit: Sam Rutherford

(Image credit: The Galaxy S8's facial recognition could potentially be fooled by a photo. Credit: Sam Rutherford)

The recently released video, however, suggests that the camera can't easily distinguish between an actual person holding the handset and a photo of that person, potentially causing security concerns. Conceivably, a hacker could simply hold a photo of the device's owner in front of the camera and gain access to all the data stored inside.

But as noted, there's more than one way to secure the Galaxy S8. So, while there might be a problem with the facial recognition, there's still a fingerprint sensor and an iris scanner that could be used to keep the device locked and secured.

The Galaxy S8 reaches store shelves on April 21.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.