When I reviewed the Galaxy S10 Plus‘ fingerprint reader, I couldn’t exactly come up with the most positive words to say about it. That’s because it kind of sucks. It’s unreliable, you have to use force to get it to read your print, and it isn’t as fast as an optical sensor. As it turns out, though, performance isn’t the only issue users have been pegged with by the sensor. It’s security.
Users across the web have been reporting a particular issue with the S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint reader that lets you use any finger to unlock your phone. Apparently, some gel-style screen protectors cause the sensor to malfunction. If you set up a fingerprint with one of the protectors in place, it’ll read the wrong data and allow anyone to unlock your phone, simply by touching in the right area.
Off the bat, Samsung blamed the use of third-party accessories and said users should stick with Samsung–made products to customize their Galaxy S10s. But in a new statement given to BBC, the company has taken somewhat of a 180 and promises to patch the bug that allows this issue to happen.
The scanner sends ultrasounds to detect 3D ridges of fingerprints in order to recognise users.
Samsung said it was “aware of the case of S10’s malfunctioning fingerprint recognition and will soon issue a software patch”.
South Korea’s online-only KaKao Bank told customers to switch off the fingerprint-recognition option to log in to its services until the issue was fixed.
Previous reports suggested some screen protectors were incompatible with Samsung’s reader because they left a small air gap that interfered with the scanning.
It isn’t clear when this patch will come, who will get it first, or what countries it’ll even be available. When it does start rolling out, I’ll let you know.
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