A report surfaced earlier this week that claimed that the fingerprint scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S10 could be easily fooled due to a security flaw. A user has complained that when registering fingerprints while using a “gel cover” screen protector on the S10, the phone was then able to be unlocked by unregistered fingerprints.
“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,” the user explained. But the issue appears to be caused by the 3rd-party screen protector applied, which was purchased for GBP2.70 from eBay.
Samsung has previously warned that using “unofficial, scratched or dirty screen protectors may cause the fingerprint sensor to malfunction”, but the Korean tech giant has now said that they will be rolling out a software update to patch the issue soon.
“We are investigating this issue and will be deploying a software patch soon.”
Of course, the S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner was touted as “revolutionary” when first launched, with the scanner using 3D impressions of your fingerprint to supposedly provide a secure lock for the device. It’s also worth noting that the Galaxy Note 10 also uses the same ultrasonic scanner, so users of the new flagship could also be susceptible to the same flaw.
For now, we’d advise users to avoid using 3rd-party screen protectors on their Galaxy S10 devices, or even the Note 10. The S10 comes with a default screen protector that doesn’t appear to be vulnerable to the same issue, so perhaps it’d be best to use that until a patch arrives from Samsung.