'Any fingerprint' can unlock Samsung's Galaxy 10 device, company say

The problem was discovered by a woman whose husband could unlock her phone with his fingerprint when it was in a cheap screen protector. (AP)

A design flaw in the Galaxy S10 smartphone means that any fingerprint can unlock the device, Samsung have admitted.

The S10 was released in March with what the company described as "a revolutionary new in-display fingerprint sensor which provided invisible yet vault-like security that keeps the user’s data safe”.

However, a Yorkshire woman discovered that her husband could unlock her phone with his fingerprint when she used a cheap screen protector.

Lisa Neilson found that having registered her right thumb on the device with a screen protector fitted, "any print unlocked the phone".

The couple told the Sun newspaper that the flaw was a “real concern”.

The Galaxy S10 was released in March with what the company called a "revolutionary fingerprint sensor". (AP)

A screen protector is designed to be transparent to the eye, but not to an ultrasonic pulse.

Possible reasons for the flaw are either that the sensor sees the protector as well as the finger, to the extent that the protector plus another finger is detected as similar, or that it too much distorts the ultrasonic image.

Samsung said it was "aware of the case of S10's malfunctioning fingerprint recognition and will soon issue a software patch".


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"We are investigating this issue and will be deploying a software patch soon, the Japanese tech giant said in a statement.

“We encourage any customers with questions or who need support downloading the latest software to contact us directly at 0330 000 0333."