Galaxy S10 Fingerprint Lock Can Unlock with any Finger

The external packaging for a Samsung Galaxy S10. White box with black lettering.
A British woman has discovered that a simple screen protector can defeat the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S10.

Because of the way the Galaxy S10 reads fingerprints, a simple screen protector can be enough to defeat the security. While Samsung touts their scanning method as more secure, it’s actually been thwarted multiple times so far. The first time, it was undone with a $450 3D printer. This time, the exploit seems to be more serious.

This is far from the first time Samsung security has been called into question. In 2017, the Galaxy S8 facial recognition feature was hacked with a photo. The vulnerability, one which had been common to all facial recognition, was solved by other companies more than 5 years earlier.

Though all of the previous exploits were problematic, they needed planning. You can’t 3D print a fingerprint or print a photo of a person unless you know them. This exploit is far simpler and more serious. Almost everyone keeps a screen protector or case on their phone to prevent damage.

If keeping a screen protector on your Galaxy S10 is all that it takes to let anyone unlock it with their finger, no one’s phone will be secure. Samsung needs to address this vulnerability as soon as possible. This sort of issue could well kill enthusiasm for the phone.

We here at Cherry Tree Technology take the security of our client data very seriously. If you have concerns about the security of any of your devices, from your router to your PC, contact us. We’d be happy to help you ensure only you can access your information.

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