Samsung confirms that a bug allows any fingerprint to unlock the Galaxy S10

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

The issue came to light when an S10 owner in the UK bought a third-party screen protector for the device from eBay for £2.70 (around $3.50). After attaching the protector, it was discovered that the woman could unlock the phone with her unregistered left thumb. She then asked her husband, who was unregistered, to try. He was also able to unlock the device.

In a statement to Reuters, the company said: "Samsung Electronics is aware of the case of the S10's malfunctioning fingerprint recognition and will soon issue a software patch."

In a notice on its customer support app, Samsung wrote that the issue could happen when patterns of some protectors that come with silicone phone cases are recognized along with fingerprints. It recommends that buyers use approved protective devices, specifically designed for Samsung products.

KaKao Bank, an online-only banking service in South Korea, believes the situation is so serious that it has told customers to turn off the fingerprint recognition option for logging into their accounts until the problem is patched.

This isn’t the first time the Galaxy S10’s fingerprint scanner has come under scrutiny. Back in April, it was shown how a 3D-printed fingerprint was able to fool the ultrasonic sensor, which detects fingerprint ridges. It involved taking a photo of a fingerprint on the side of a wineglass, adjusting the image on Photoshop, then creating a 3D-printed model.

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hahahanoobs

TS Evangelist
"It recommends that theives use approved protective devices, specifically designed for Samsung products."

Fixed
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
That this is such an obvious bug, I wonder whether they do any QA testing at all.
Well I bought a Samsung S5e tablet last week and have found out that it can't hold a connection to a 5GHz WiFi signal and struggles to stay on my 2.4GHz signal. And I'm not alone. Samsung's explanation? "You're holding it wrong". I sh*t you not. I thought companies figured out that problem years ago.
 

Jimster480

TS Booster
That this is such an obvious bug, I wonder whether they do any QA testing at all.
I really don't think many companies do much QA testing anymore... the obvious bugs that exist in major public products are completely unacceptable these days.
Samsung and Apple have shown to be some of the worst at doing QA before releasing devices with both of them having MAJOR exploits / bugs after release.
 

Markoni35

TS Maniac
I really don't think many companies do much QA testing anymore... the obvious bugs that exist in major public products are completely unacceptable these days.
Samsung and Apple have shown to be some of the worst at doing QA before releasing devices with both of them having MAJOR exploits / bugs after release.
That's not quite true. Unit testing, integration testing, and all other versions of automated testing are more present nowadays than ever before. The fact that we have so many horrible bugs in software is more because of deliberately open holes than because of mistakes.

But in this case, it's more like "hardware error" than software. They just didn't test the software by physically overlaying something that would interfere with fingerprint patterns. Something like that cannot easily be tested with automated tests.

Also... one first has to think of a possibility that something like that can happen before even thinking about testing it.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Well I bought a Samsung S5e tablet last week and have found out that it can't hold a connection to a 5GHz WiFi signal and struggles to stay on my 2.4GHz signal. And I'm not alone. Samsung's explanation? "You're holding it wrong". I sh*t you not. I thought companies figured out that problem years ago.
They learned well from Steve Jobs. :laughing:
That's not quite true. Unit testing, integration testing, and all other versions of automated testing are more present nowadays than ever before. The fact that we have so many horrible bugs in software is more because of deliberately open holes than because of mistakes.

But in this case, it's more like "hardware error" than software. They just didn't test the software by physically overlaying something that would interfere with fingerprint patterns. Something like that cannot easily be tested with automated tests.

Also... one first has to think of a possibility that something like that can happen before even thinking about testing it.
Automated testing will never cover scenarios that human test engineers would. The trends toward automated testing are almost certainly driven by that ever present push to save money in the production of products. IMO, especially in light of situations like this, that push to save money lends itself to producing :poop:
 

Markoni35

TS Maniac
They learned well from Steve Jobs. :laughing:

Automated testing will never cover scenarios that human test engineers would. The trends toward automated testing are almost certainly driven by that ever present push to save money in the production of products. IMO, especially in light of situations like this, that push to save money lends itself to producing :poop:
Apps and devices are tested manually as well. But they can't take into account all kinds of covers that someone could put over their phone. I often blame the manufacturers for leaving deliberate holes, as requested by various 3rd parties. Samsung is known to have TV sets which spy on their owners.

But in this case it's hard to blame the engineers. There are so many different things to test physically that it's just impossible to do it, at least not in a reasonable time.

Hey, those phones are still better than GMO plants, which were tested completely "in the wild". And by that I mean, they were put on the shelves for people to eat them as if they were throughly tested. But they weren't. At least not by independent labs. And that was food for humans, not cellphones. Not testing GMO was a true crime. Not testing different covers is a small engineering failure.