Samsung admits a screen protector defeats Galaxy S10 fingerprint sensor

Posted:
in General Discussion
Following a British newspaper account of a woman discovering anyone could unlock her Galaxy S10 since she added a screen protector, Samsung is promising a software patch.

Samsung Galaxy S10
Samsung Galaxy S10


Briton Lisa Neilson has told The Sun newspaper that her Samsung Galaxy S10 can be unlocked by anyone since she fitted a 2.70 ($3.45) screen protector she bought on eBay. Neilson used the same case on a relative's Samsung phone and found the same problem.

"This means that if anyone got hold of my phone they can access it and within moments could be into the financial apps and be transferring funds," Neilsen told The Sun. "It's a real concern."

"We called Samsung because we thought there was a fault with the phone," she continued. "The man in customer services took control of the phone remotely and went into all the settings and finally admitted it looked like a security breach."

"They said someone in another department who could investigate would call us, but we still haven't heard anything from them," she concluded.

According to The Sun, a spokesperson from Samsung has now advised that people should use only approved screen protectors.

"We're investigating this internally," the spokesperson is quoted as saying. "We recommend all customers to use Samsung authorized accessories, specifically designed for Samsung products."

Separately, BBC News is reporting that South Korea's online-only KaKao Bank has told customers to switch off Samsung's fingerprint unlocking option until the issue is fixed.

Samsung repeated to the BBC that it was investigating, but also claimed a solution was coming.

"[We] are ware of the case of S10's malfunctioning fingerprint recognition," said a spokesperson, "and will soon issue a software patch."






AppleInsider has contacted Department of Defense members testing the flaw. So far, they discovered that glass detectors don't seem to manifest the problem. While the current mechanism of failure is not yet known, the current theory is that the the original discoverer trapped a fingerprint in oil underneath the "gel" screen protector. When a finger was placed on the sensing location, the finger's presence triggered the sensor, with the ultrasonic reader scanning the trapped fingerprint.
watto_cobra
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    netmagenetmage Posts: 314member
    That explanation is interesting but doesn’t explain how the same screen protector unlocked her friend’s phone. 
    chialolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 65
    Wow, if iPhones did this, it would be the end of the world. But Samsung can even have a phone that blows up and it's just business as usual...
    edited October 2019 SpamSandwichMacQclkruppmagman1979ravnorodomdoctwelveelijahgsdw2001cy_starkmanStrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 65
    Is Samsung’s fingerprint reader a security feature or a convenience feature? I mean, that’s the line that’s usually trotted out, right?
    cornchipStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 65
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    Wait, Samesung's solution is to only use approved screen protectors? Because a criminal would just take that approved one off and stick on the one that makes it so he could get on easily using his own fingerprint!!!
    ArloTimetravelerelijahgmuthuk_vanalingamnetroxyojimbo007cy_starkmanlolliverradarthekatchaickarevenant
  • Reply 5 of 65
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,321administrator
    netmage said:
    That explanation is interesting but doesn’t explain how the same screen protector unlocked her friend’s phone. 
    Sure it does. Her friend's finger oil is on the fingerprint sensing area on her phone. After applying the screen protector, it too is entombed.
    edited October 2019 king editor the gratemuthuk_vanalingamsdw2001cy_starkmanStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 65
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,813member
    netmage said:
    That explanation is interesting but doesn’t explain how the same screen protector unlocked her friend’s phone. 
    I think she's saying they tried the same protector on another phone to see if it behaved the same way. It did, so she inferred it was a design flaw rather than a one-off issue with her device.
    doctwelvepscooter63lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 65
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,022member
    Does anyone else see an issue with Sansung tech being able to log into the phone and take control of it and modify setting. It looks like Samsung/Andriod has backdoors into the phone similar to a PC. Seem secure to me. Besides the fact your can fake out the finger print reader.
    lolliverchaickaroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 65
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,032member
    This might be why Apple scrapped their implementation a few years back. There will always be hiccups with tech, but I trust Apple over Samsung, Google and Huawei to have a vested interest in trying to protect me.


    PS: I wish Apple would offer their own DNS and VPN options. These are complex for most users to understand so they tend to go unused by the masses for personal protection.
    edited October 2019 magman1979cy_starkmanpscooter63lolliverchaickaanantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 65
    Samsung. What an innovator!
    lkruppmagman1979lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 65
    netmage said:
    That explanation is interesting but doesn’t explain how the same screen protector unlocked her friend’s phone. 
    Sure it does. Her friend's finger oil is on the fingerprint sensing area on her phone. After applying the screen protector, it too is entombed.

    How does oil simulate ridges? The whole point of an ultrasonic sensor is that it isn’t supposed to be fooled by images since it can measure the depth of your ridges.
    magman1979netmagemacpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 65
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,866member
    🤦🏻‍♂️
    magman1979lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 65
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,764member
    Will we see as much consternation about this massive pitfall from the knockoff apologists as they expressed about hypothetical iPhone attacks?
    lollivermacpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 65
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,321administrator
    netmage said:
    That explanation is interesting but doesn’t explain how the same screen protector unlocked her friend’s phone. 
    Sure it does. Her friend's finger oil is on the fingerprint sensing area on her phone. After applying the screen protector, it too is entombed.

    How does oil simulate ridges? The whole point of an ultrasonic sensor is that it isn’t supposed to be fooled by images since it can measure the depth of your ridges.
    That is the point of any fingerprint sensor, yes. But yet, here we are.
    magman1979king editor the grateberndogcy_starkmanjdb8167pscooter63lolliverchaickacornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 65
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,441member
     "The man in customer services took control of the phone remotely and went into all the settings and finally admitted it looked like a security breach."

    This bothers me as much as the complete failure of the fingerprint sensor. (Ok - i really don't care about the failure of the sensor. That's why I have an iPhone.)
    magman1979mike1lolliverroundaboutnowcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 65
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,303member
    maestro64 said:
    Does anyone else see an issue with Sansung tech being able to log into the phone and take control of it and modify setting. It looks like Samsung/Andriod has backdoors into the phone similar to a PC. 
    You mean software and operating system updates? Heck Apple does those. I believe in a worst case scenario Apple can still access your personal phone and remove a particularly egregious piece of malware masquerading as an app.  What's the issue?
    edited October 2019 revenant
  • Reply 16 of 65
    If this was the case with an iPhone, Apple would be under investigation by the government and this would be national news. 
    magman1979doctwelveAppleExposedStrangeDayslolliverchaickawatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 65
    Samsung will now develop reader that will scan finger feet in distance.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 65
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,241member
    ROTFLMMFAO!!!!!!

    And just watch, Samsung will get a full pass on this, and their brainwashed Fandroid morons will proclaim this is a FEATURE!!!
    doctwelveStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 65
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,817member
    Leave it to Samsung to screw up what is now established technology. If I had to go to Android, Samsung would be nearly the last brand I’d choose. They just don’t understand quality.
    edited October 2019 muthuk_vanalingammagman1979SpamSandwichlollivercornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 65
    olsols Posts: 49member
    That is classic in its highest standard.

    If it was apple having their security circumvented there would be hell on earth but because it is Samsung nobody cares - how typical.
    doctwelvemagman1979SpamSandwichAppleExposedlolliverchaickawatto_cobra
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