10-year-old Staten Island boy hacks iPhone X facial recognition

STATEN ISLAND — A 10-year-old boy has been able to hack the Face ID on each of his parents’ new iPhone X.

Ammar Malik showed he can go toe-to-toe with some of the world’s best hackers.

“I was pretty surprised when it happened,” said Ammar.

His father, Attaullah Malik, said he and his wife both recently purchased Apple’s latest iPhone. They pre-ordered the devices and they arrived November 3.

“We opened up the phones, we set them up and we scanned our faces. Ammar walked in, he wanted to check out the iPhone X. My wife said there’s no way you can get into my phone and he just picked up one of the phones and he just got right in,” said Attaullah.

Apple released the “X” with much fanfare, touting one of its groundbreaking feature — facial recognition technology. With a glance, the phone will unlock for the owner of the device. Since its release, hackers worldwide have been trying to crack the Face ID technology.

The family was shocked when Ammar picked up the new phone and gave it a try, and immediately was able to unlock the phone. It wasn’t just a one time thing, he has since been able to unlock it over and over. The Maliks posted a video of Ammar unlocking the phone to YouTube, it’s gotten over 1.9 million views since it was posted earlier this week.

“We had no idea it was going to go viral,” said Attaullah.

Sana, at first, was amused by her son’s antics, but soon worried about the overall implications of someone being able to access the personal contents of their phones so easily.

“Privacy it’s something, it’s a concern, it’s a big concern,” said Sana.

“We were shocked at first, surprised and we thought it was funny. After a few days, we thought not really funny anymore, because he can get into my wife’s phone, and he can look into her personal stuff, he can make purchases in an app so that’s a concern,” said Attaullah.

They contacted Wired Magazine. The tech publication reached out to Apple. The company suggested they reset their phones and rescan their faces. They did it multiple times.

“I would say I tried at least five or six times. Every time I reset my phone, after one or two attempts, he was able to get in,” said Sana.

Apple says it’s a one in a million chance someone other than yourself can unlock your phone.

The Maliks say they are not concerned about someone other than their son unlocking their phone and they feel perfectly secure.

“I think Apple is pretty good but this new Face ID has some kinks and bugs in it. But I don’t think you have to worry about security and someone getting into your phone unless it’s a relative that resembles you,” said Attaullah.

The family says they’ve been asked by Apple to make a new video showing Amar unlocking the phone and to send it to the company for them to try to figure it out.

As for young Ammar, he’s taking all the attention in stride.

“I’m pretty excited, people at school have been asking me for my autograph.”