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Samsung Galaxy S10 has a flaw that allows the fingerprint reader to be hacked

Following the discovery by a UK user that any fingerprint could unlock their phone, Samsung has announced it will issue a software patch.

The flaw was first made public earlier this week when Lisa Neilson from Castleford told the Sun newspaper about her discovery that she could unlock her Samsung Galaxy S10 with any finger, including her husband’s. It seems that the hack became possible when she put a screen protector on as the fingerprint reader in the S10 is embedded in the screen.

It looks like the reader was reading some kind of pattern on the screen protector rather than the finger pressing on it. Samsung rather unhelpfully responded that people should only buy Samsung-branded stuff, conveniently overlooking the fact that Samsung UK doesn’t even seem to sell screen protectors anyway.

There is also no advice offered on the problem anywhere on the Samsung UK site that we could see, but multiple media are reporting the following statement from Samsung: “We are investigating this issue and will be deploying a software patch soon.”

If it takes more than a software patch then Samsung would have to do yet another expensive product recall. For the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor to be hacked by something as simple as a screen protector is pretty embarrassing for Samsung. Furthermore, if it doesn’t provide a definitive answer to this issue very quickly then public trust in the security of its latest phones will start to erode rapidly.

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