DefCon Badge Hack Fools Facial Recognition Systems With Pulsing Light

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DefCon's badges encourage hacking. In fact, the best hacks at the conference receive a black über badge signifying free lifetime admission. But why compete for the über badges when you can use steal them with this year's winning hack?

You have to hand it to the guy behind this DefCon 17's winning badge hack. He really wanted one of those black über badges and figured out how to get it, one way or the other. While it may look like one of those tacky Mickey's Christmas Parade hats sold at Disney, the pulsing series of LEDs embedded in the bill of the cap confuses facial recognition systems. We'll never know whether his design would've truly allowed the guy to sneak into the room where the badges are stored or not, but it's quite an achievement to make a cat burglar's dream toy out of these badges:


While this kills that old 100% accuracy claim regarding facial recognition,there aren't any details about how the hack is meant to thwart facial recognition systems. Does it have to do with how 3D images are analyzed? Does anyone have any insight? Specs? Cookies of your choice to whoever satisfies my curiosity on this topic. [Wired]