Last week, a report surfaced that British Galaxy S10 user, Lisa Neilson discovered a fingerprint scanner vulnerability that would let anyone access her device through a vulnerability with the ultra-sonic fingerprint sensor.
Cheap silicone screen protectors have dot matrices so the clear protector wouldn’t stick to the smooth glass. This caused a malfunction with the ultra-sonic in-display fingerprint sensor. In practice, enrolling your fingerprint doesn’t work through such a case, except it did. It was enrolling the pattern on the silicone cover and not from a user’s finger, so when anyone else tried to unlock the device, it recognized the patterns in the cover and opened right up.
Samsung acknowledged that it was looking into the issue and the first device patched for this was the Galaxy S10 5G, just earlier today. Samsung has since released an statement regarding the phone’s security in relation to these silicone screen covers.
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
A software update is planned to be pushed next week to Galaxy S10/S10+/S10 5G/Note10/Note10+ users. Until then, customers are advices to stop using these protectors, delete all enrolled fingerprints, and re-enroll them without using the case.
The update will let users continue to use these silicone cases and (presumably) it would not allow you to enroll your finger with such a case installed.
After the update, Samsung recommends users thoroughly scan the entirety of their fingerprints to ensure security of their devices.