Published: Fri, October 18, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Any fingerprint unlocks Galaxy S10, Samsung warns

Any fingerprint unlocks Galaxy S10, Samsung warns

The issue was spotted by a British woman whose husband was able to unlock her phone with his fingerprint just by adding a cheap screen protector.

The Galaxy S10 uses an ultrasonic in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that uses sound to read your fingerprint rather than light.

It's unclear how the security snafu works, but presumably some screen protectors will leave enough of the contours of your fingerprint behind to trick the scanner into thinking your finger is the one being scanned.

Until then, remove any gel screen protectors and use a plastic alternative that will still keep the device safe without allowing anyone to access your data.

Lisa Neilson from West Yorkshire found that having registered her right thumb on the device with a screen protector fitted, "any print unlocked the phone".

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It's unclear what it was about the screen protector that so thoroughly defeated Samsung's security measures, but the company has previously noted that unofficial screen protectors could interfere with the sensor. Now, Samsung has acknowledged the problem and promised to patch it soon, according to Reuters. Samsung is aware of this massive security issue, and it's working on a patch.

As of now, it appears that Galaxy S10 users will have to stick with face unlock for biometric authentication.

The issue can happen when patterns of some protectors that come with silicone phone cases are recognized along with fingerprints, the South Korean tech giant said in a notice on its customer support app.

KaKao Bank, an online-only banking service in South Korea, believes the situation is so serious that it has told customers to turn off the fingerprint recognition option for logging into their accounts until the problem is patched.

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