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.”