Samsung urges S10, Note10 users to reregister fingerprints amid security issue

MANILA, Philippines – A new problem surfaces for Samsung, as reports are starting to show that the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Note10 have a security problem.

According to Bleeping Computer, a British couple recently discovered that the devices’ fingerprint readers can be bypassed with the use of a silicone cover. When a wrap-around silicone cover is placed on top of a screen, the phone’s in-display fingerprint reader may confuse anyone’s fingerprint with the owner’s fingerprint. 

Forbes reported that as a result of the security issue, some banks from Europe such as NatWest (UK) and Royal Bank of Scotland have elected to pull their apps from the Google Play Store for customers with Samsung S10 devices until the issue is resolved. The site also reported that the vulnerability works not only when unlocking the phone but for any service where fingerprint security is used such as financial transactions and bank apps. 

Since the vulnerability was discovered, a warning has been issued from Samsung and they have stated that they will work on the bug as soon as possible. Meanwhile they also advised that users who have silicon cases remove the cover, delete all fingerprint data, and register new ones for their security. Here's the full statement: 

"Regarding recent reports of a fingerprint recognition issue affecting certain Galaxy devices, we would like to inform our customers of the following information.

 This issue involved ultrasonic fingerprint sensors unlocking devices after recognizing 3-dimensional patterns appearing on certain silicone screen protecting cases as users’ fingerprints.

To prevent any further issues, we advise that Galaxy Note10/10+ and S10/S10+/S10 5G users who use such covers to remove the cover, delete all previous fingerprints and newly register their fingerprints.

If you currently use front screen protective covers, to ensure optimum fingerprint scanning, please refrain from using this cover until your device has been updated with a new software patch.

A software update is planned to be released as early as next week, and once updated, please be sure to scan your fingerprint in its entirety, so that the all portions of your fingerprint, including the center and corners have been fully scanned.

Thank you for your patience and we will strive to continuously improve product and service experiences for our users."

If you are a user of the phones identified here, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions, and keep an eye out for the security patch. To be extra cautious, users may also opt to turn off fingerprint security altogether and use traditional means such as a PIN until Samsung fixes the vulnerability. – Rappler.com