Samsung Admits Major Security Flaw in Galaxy S10 Under-Screen Fingerprint Sensor

A major flaw in Samsung's Galaxy S10 smartphone has been discovered that basically means any fingerprint can unlock the device with the help of a cheap screen protector.


According to the BBC, a British woman discovered the authentication flaw after she applied a cheap gel screen protector bought off eBay to her Galaxy S10.

She soon discovered that she was able to authenticate as the owner by pressing her left thumbprint against the phone's onscreen fingerprint sensor – the problem being that she hadn't registered her thumb with the device's biometric authenticaton system.

Her suspicions were confirmed when her husband was also able to unlock the phone by pressing either one of his thumbs on the screen's built-in sensor. The screen protector was then applied to another relative's Galaxy S10 and the same thing occurred.

Responding to the incident, Samsung said it was "aware of the case of S10's malfunctioning fingerprint recognition and will soon issue a software patch."

Previous reports have suggested that certain screen protectors are "incompatible" with Samsung's fingerprint sensor because they leave a small air gap that can interfere with the scanning. The sensor relies on ultrasound to detect the microscopic ridges that make every fingerprint unique.

The Galaxy S10 is the latest in Samsung's flagship S series, which is usually regarded as the iPhone's annual rival. The Korean company launched the phone in March and referred to its under-screen fingerprint authentication system as "revolutionary."

(Thanks, Chris!)

Top Rated Comments

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5 weeks ago
Maybe they will bring back the self destruct feature for added security.
Rating: 54 Votes
5 weeks ago
Another rushed Samsung feature to market before it’s ready and properly tested.
Rating: 53 Votes
5 weeks ago
Do people really still think Samsung makes good phones, after the fold i can’t trust them
Rating: 44 Votes
5 weeks ago
Hilarious!! First their pathetic atempt @ cloning FaceID & now this!! lol!!
Rating: 43 Votes
5 weeks ago
Not so easy, is it? ;)
Rating: 37 Votes
5 weeks ago
Can't wait for this thread to become yet another echo chamber full with people who prefer Touch ID to Face ID because having to put your finger in a certain place on the phone is somehow more convenient than having to do nothing.
Rating: 37 Votes
5 weeks ago
"Why doesn't Apple just put the fingerprint sensor under the screen, like Samsung?"
"Why doesn't the iPhone 11 ship with 5G?"
"What's Apple's answer to foldable phones?"

Gee, it's almost as though the technology isn't mature.
Rating: 37 Votes
5 weeks ago
That shows how little testing Samsung does. I can understand it failing to unlock with certain screen protectors, but looks like it just unlocks if the fingerprint is not clear.
Rating: 36 Votes
5 weeks ago
But why would it unlock the phone, if the screen protector interferes with the sensor? That's just stupid.
Rating: 29 Votes
5 weeks ago
I’m so happy and satisfied with Face ID I don’t even think on any form of Touch ID any longer.
And I have a launch day iPhone X, flawless.

My iPad Pro 3rd generation Face ID works so well who even needs more ?
Rating: 29 Votes

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