Samsung admits Galaxy S10 smartphone fingerprint access flaw

The world’s biggest smartphone maker has touted the Galaxy S10’s in-display fingerprint sensor as ‘revolutionary’ before problem emerged. (Reuters)
Updated 18 October 2019

Samsung admits Galaxy S10 smartphone fingerprint access flaw

  • Samsung has a history of humiliating setbacks with major products, most notably a worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices in 2016
  • Earlier this year it had to delay the launch of its first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, after pre-release users found faulty screens

SEOUL: Tech giant Samsung Electronics on Friday acknowledged a major flaw with its fingerprint system that allows other people to open its top-end smartphones, advising users to delete all registered prints.
Samsung is the flagship subsidiary of the giant Samsung Group and crucial to South Korea’s economic health. The conglomerate is by far the biggest of the family-controlled empires that dominate business in the world’s 11th-largest economy.
But it has 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 its reputation.
Earlier this year it had to delay the launch of its first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, after pre-release users found faulty screens.
Samsung’s latest problem emerged after a user in the UK told the Sun newspaper earlier this week her Galaxy S10 smartphone could be unlocked by someone else simply by putting on a screen protector and applying an unregistered fingerprint.
The flaw meant anyone who got hold of her phone could transfer funds using her financial apps, the user told the British paper.
In a statement released Friday, Samsung said the issue involved “fingerprint sensors unlocking devices after recognizing 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 recognize you,” the firm has said about the technology involved.
Kakaobank, South Korea’s Internet-only bank, has told its customers not to use fingerprints to access its mobile banking services and employ passwords and pattern locks instead until the problem is fixed.


Saudi Arabia: OPEC, allies coordinating to hold Saturday meeting

Updated 05 June 2020

Saudi Arabia: OPEC, allies coordinating to hold Saturday meeting

  • Russian energy ministry earlier confirmed the meeting

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Friday that OPEC and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, were working to hold their oil output policy meeting on Saturday.

“The conditions right now warrant hopefully successful meetings. Coordination is under way to hold OPEC and OPEC+ meetings tomorrow afternoon,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said.

The Russian energy ministry earlier similarly said a video conference of a group of leading oil producers, known as OPEC+, would be held on Saturday.

The producers known as OPEC+ previously agreed to cut supply by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) during May and June to prop up prices that collapsed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Cuts have been due to taper to 7.7 million bpd from July to December.