Cheap screen protector bypasses Samsung Galaxy S10 fingerprint biometrics

The fingerprint device access control of the popular Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone can be bypassed by attaching certain accessories to the device, Forbes reports.

The in-display fingerprint system has been a major selling feature for the flagship device, but also something of a nuisance to Samsung, as it had to roll out a biometric security software patch in April to address performance issues. Android Central reported early in the year that some screen protectors prevent the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor from working, as any gap between the protector and the screen could disrupt the transmission of the ultrasonic signal.

Now an aftermarket accessory maker has developed a cheap gel protector which appears to solve the problem by recording user fingerprints, meaning that once the device has been used by the device owner, anyone can impersonate their biometrics simply by pressing on the sensor area. Aside from the security problem this creates for device access, it also applies to any accounts and applications that are secured with fingerprint biometrics.

UK Samsung Galaxy S10 owner Lisa Neilson told The Sun that when a $3 screen protector she purchased on eBay appeared to effectively bypass the fingerprint sensor, she called Samsung customer support. A Samsung customer service representative took remote control of the phone, examined its setting, and admitted that the issue appears to be a breach. Neilson says the representative then told her that a person from another department would contact them as part of an investigation, but that contact has not happened yet.

Samsung says it is conducting an internal investigation, and advises Galaxy S10 owners to make sure they use authorized company products that are specifically designed for its devices.

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