What is Face Morphing

Face morphing, a groundbreaking technique comes forth as a captivating technology that has presented astonishing applications in art, digital manipulation, entertainment, security, and forensics. It refers to the technique where two or three images from the same or different resources are blended to form a new identity containing all resource images’ attributes. The algorithms that are leveraged in face morphing are efficient enough to combine facial attributes from the source images and emerge in such a precise way that the new identity appears highly realistic. 

In a world where facial morphing has offered astonishing applications, it’s also used for unethical and illicit activities. Malicious actors with immoral intentions have leveraged morphing techniques for their personal gains and gain unauthorized entry into financial systems, effectively bypassing advanced IDV solutions. This alarming shift mandates IDV solutions to establish robust authentication technology integrated with liveness detection to recognize facial morphing attacks and prevent their unauthorized entry. 

Exploring Face Morphing Techniques 

Individuals with malicious intentions have exploited this technology to create highly realistic face morphing attacks to dodge authentication systems and get unauthorized access to financial systems. For instance, cybercriminals get access to someone’s images from social media accounts or other platforms and combine these images to create a whole new identity that exactly matches to resourced images. The fabricated identity is used to attain access to various platforms with diverse purposes from hacking bank accounts and conducting financial transactions to tormenting the victim’s reputational image.  Facial morphing attacks come in various forms, as technological innovation has simplified the morphing process. 

Linear Morphing 

Unlike complex morphing techniques, linear morphing is used in animation and computer graphics to simply blend or warp two images to generate a new identity. The initial and final images are linearly blended using corresponding key points. Linear morphing simply analyzes key points of the initial images, finds matching key points, and warps the resembling key points of both images into each other. This method is simple yet effective however, it doesn’t generate advanced identities. 

3D Morphing

3D morphing also referred to as geometric morphing is a method of facial morphing where 3D images or objects are blended and aligned properly to form an appealing new image or object resembling the fed resources. The technique includes the blending of vertices of 3D images into the vertices of another 3D  image to create an effortless transition, making it challenging to recognize that the new identity is different from the used images. 

Mesh Morphing 

Better known as grid-based morphing, mesh morphing generates accurate and highly realistic images by employing advanced technology. It analyzes facial attributes and divides them into triangles and quadrangles. The images are blended into each other with resembling grides, for instance, triangles of one image are warped into other images, and the same goes with quadrangles. Mesh morphing is ultra flexible technique and handles complications effectively.  

Cross-dissolve Morphing 

Also referred to as texture-based morphing, cross-dissolve morphing involves blending the key points or facial features including the eyes, nose, chin, etc of two images. The key points of both images are recognized and the resemblance between both images is analyzed. The images are then gradually warped into each other, generating a highly-authentic final image. This technique aligns sourced images based on pixels and finds applications in video-editing software, movies, and facial recognition technology. 

How Facial Morphing Attacks are Distorting Privacy & Security? 

Cybercriminals with bad intentions use others’ identities without their consent and create new identities that are prevalently employed to conduct illicit activities. In the digital world where it is effortless to gain access to someone’s sensitive information, fraudsters acquire images from social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, it’s not daunting to obtain biometric information using advanced AI algorithms and machine learning tools. Facial morphing attacks could also be implemented to spread misinformation, distorting the reputational image and damaging psycho-social well-being. 

Morphing attacks also undermine the security and integrity of authentication, thus challenging their effectiveness. Reliability and confidence in identity verification are challenged which raises of sense of mistrust and disbelief. Additionally, when morphed images are used in media production and entertainment, they raise fake beauty standards, greatly influencing societal standards of beauty. 


Undoubtedly, facial morphing has presented astonishing applications in media production, entertainment, and digital manipulation, it also presents privacy and ethical concerns. The technology in the wrong hands always creates problems, cybercriminals with malicious intentions leverage this advanced technique to use someone else identity to generate a new identity to fulfill their illicit activities. Facial morphing attacks appear so realistic that advanced authentication systems fail to spot them. The alarming exploitation of this technique mandates IDV solutions to develop technology integrated with sophisticated algorithms and liveness detection to recognize genuine identities and ward off fake identities accurately. 



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