Samsung has acknowledged a major flaw in its Galaxy S10's fingerprint system that allows anyone to unlock the device. Samsung has also advised Galaxy S10 users to delete all registered fingerprints. The issue came to light after a user complained that her Galaxy S10 could be locked using a screen protector and an unregistered fingerprint. Meaning, anyone with physical access to her phone could unlock it and transfer funds through her online wallet apps.
In a statement released Friday, Samsung said the issue involved "fingerprint sensors unlocking devices after recognising three-dimensional patterns appearing on certain silicone screen protecting cases as users' fingerprints." The firm advised users of the Galaxy Note10, 10+ and Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10 5G to "delete all previous fingerprints" and register their data anew.
"Please refrain from applying a silicone screen protecting case to your device until a software update, which is planned to be released beginning next week," it added.
The statement was released a day after Samsung said it would soon roll out a fix, but did not specify what the problem was. The world's biggest smartphone maker has touted the Galaxy S10's in-display fingerprint sensor as "revolutionary".
"When you place your thumb on the screen, it sends ultrasonic pulses to detect the 3D ridges and valleys of your unique fingerprint to quickly and accurately recognise you," Samsung said
Meanwhile, South Korean internet-only bank Kakaobank has warned its customers against fingerprints to access its mobile banking services and employ passwords and pattern locks instead until the problem is fixed.
Samsung has had a history of humiliating setbacks with major products, most notably a worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices in 2016 over exploding batteries, which hammered the company's reputation. Earlier this year, Samsung had to delay the launch of its first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, after pre-release reviewers found faulty screens.
Earlier this year, a YouTube Lewis Hilsenteger revealed a major flaw in the Galaxy S10’s face unlock system. Hilsenteger was able to unlock the Galaxy S10 by pointing another phone’s screen playing his video at the S10’s face unlock sensor. The Galaxy S10 recognised his registered face and unlocked the device.
(With PTI inputs)