Samsung admits fingerprint reader flaw, promises software fix

Samsung has promised to provide a software update to fix the glaring security issue that allows users to bypass the fingerprint reader through using third-party screen protectors.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer
Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Electronics has acknowledged a security flaw in its Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 devices where the fingerprint reader can be bypassed by using silicone screen protectors, and has promised a software update to fix the problem.

A British owner of a Galaxy S10 told The Sun that her phone could be unlocked using a screen cover over the fingerprint sensor regardless of the biometric data registered to it.

Since earlier this month, similar allegations have been made from users around the world, including in South Korea where people demonstrated silicone screen protectors being used to bypass the fingerprint reader. 

See also: Samsung to launch smartphone with under-the-display front camera, report says

The issue affects the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 devices as both use an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.

Qualcomm supplies the touted sonic readers used in the S10 and Note 10. The precise cause of the problem remains unclear.  

"We are investigating the issue and will be deploying a software patch soon," a Samsung spokesperson told ZDNet.

The South Korean tech giant issued a warning to customers on Thursday about the matter. The country's online bank, Kakao Bank, also advised users to not use the feature until it is fixed.

Samsung has not specified a timeline for the software update.


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