Galaxy S10 users should turn on some alternative security features as Samsung works to address a major flaw with the device’s in-screen fingerprint sensor. The consumer electronics giant noted the issue today after a British user reported the ability to unlock her device with unregistered fingerprints.
The flaw was discovered after placing a $3.50 screen protector on the device, confirming earlier reports that adding one could introduce an air gap that interfered with the ultrasonic scanner. The company noted the issue in a statement, telling the press that it was, “aware of the case of S10’s malfunctioning fingerprint recognition and will soon issue a software patch.”
Third-party companies, including Korean bank KaKaoBank, have suggested users turn off the reader until the issue is addressed. That certainly appears to be the most logical course of action until the next software update.
When it hit the market back in March, the company touted the technology as one of the industry’s most secure biometric features, noting that it was, “engineered to be more secure than a traditional 2D optical scanner, the industry-first Ultrasonic Fingerprint ID, with sensors embedded in the display, reads the 3D contours of your physical fingerprint to keep your phone and data safe. This advanced biometric security technology earned the Galaxy S10 the world’s first FIDO Alliance Biometric Component certification.”
Samsung has warned against the use of screen protectors previously, but the ability to fool the product with a cheap off the shelf mobile accessory clearly presents a major and unexpected security concern for Galaxy users. We’ve reached out to Samsung for further comment.
Update: Samsung provided TechCrunch the following comment. “We are investigating this issue and will be deploying a software patch soon. We encourage any customers with questions or who need support downloading the latest software to contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG.”