When it launched the Galaxy S10, Samsung said it was using an innovative scanner. It has now proven itself prone to a huge problem: it works with any fingerprint. However, not under any conditions.
There are two types of fingerprint readers: optical and ultrasonic. The first one uses a photo sensor that makes a picture of the image itself and compares it to the one recorded. The latter uses vibrations to identify the pattern of the fingerprint with that of the phone. Samsung chose the latter on the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10.
The problem has now been discovered by a woman in the UK who applied a protective gel on the screen. He then discovered that he could unlock the phone with a fingerprint other than the one registered. And, moreover, that any fingerprint works.
Samsung said it knows the problem and will fix it with a software update.
Why Samsung Galaxy S10 (and maybe other models) can be unlocked like this
Unlike an optical reader, the ultrasonic is based on the 3D model that generates vibrations. Thus, it does not use light, like the other, and works even when wet in the hands. However, it is not as fast and, as is the case, cannot be used with any protective foil or gel.
Given that Samsung claims it can solve the problem with software, it means that hardware is fine. Even so, obviously there are ways to deceive such a system. The most complicated thing is to create a 3D molding .
What is happening now is that we see, once again, how easy it is to read such readers. Sure, authentication solutions also have problems, but it’s harder to replicate someone’s face.
At the same time, it is very likely that Samsung Galaxy S11 will use a system similar to Google and Apple. Motion Sense and Face ID respectively are by far the most useful, fast and intuitive unlock modes.
In the past, Samsung tried something similar to iris scanning, but gave up on the latest phones.