Samsung Patches Fingerprint Flaw With Galaxy S10

Samsung Electronics has confirmed it has rushed out a patch for a flaw with its fingerprint recognition system found on its flagship Galaxy S10 and Note 10 smartphones.

The software update is now available, the electronics giant confirmed on Wednesday, and it urged users to update their biometric authentication to the latest version.

It comes after Samsung acknowledged there was a problem last week – a problem not found by security researchers, but rather it was discovered by a British couple.

The Galaxy S10. Image credit: Samsung

Samsung patch

Lisa and Wes Neilson told the Sun newspaper that after she had fitted a cheap third party gel screen protector on eBay, her husband was able to open the S10 using his fingerprints, even though his biometric data was not registered on the device.

And now according to Reuters, Samsung issued an apology via its customer support app Samsung Members. It also told its Galaxy phone users to update their biometric authentication to the latest software version.

“Samsung Electronics takes the security of products very seriously and will make sure to strengthen security through continuing improvement and updates to enhance biometric authentication functions,” the company reportedly said on its Korean app.

When the Galaxy S10 series phones were launched to markets in March, it featured a fingerprint sensor placed under the screen, that uses ultrasound to detect the ridges of fingerprints, which Samsung touted at the time as a “revolutionary” biometric authentication feature.

Biometric issues

It seems this ultrasonic sensor was being fooled by plastic or silicon screen protectors, so Samsung had been recommending that buyers used approved protective devices rather.

This is not the first time that Samsung has had problems with its fingerprint sensor.

Back in 2014, Security Research Labs (SRLabs) re-used a fingerprint mould to bypass the fingerprint authentication of a Samsung Galaxy S5.

Quiz: Think you know all about Samsung?

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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