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Samsung sending fingerprint security fix to S10 and Note 10 phones in 24 hours

In the meantime, take off your screen protector and re-register your fingerprints.

Published onOctober 23, 2019

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Fingerprint reader

Recently, it came to light that there is a significant flaw with Samsung fingerprint scanners on its latest flagship smartphones. The flaw enables anyone to gain access to a device regardless of whose fingerprint gets scanned.

Now we know that Samsung is issuing a fix for this flaw within the next 24 hours (via Android Police). The patch will go to most devices in the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 families.

The Samsung fingerprint scanner flaw is relatively easy to reproduce. The problem arises when certain screen protectors cover the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner in the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, Note 10, and Note 10 Plus devices (the Galaxy S10e has an optical fingerprint scanner and is unaffected). The scanner ends up scanning the screen protector itself, not your fingerprint. Therefore it is easy for anyone to unlock your phone with the screen protector on it.

If you own a Galaxy S10 or Note 10 device, the best thing you can do right now is to remove your screen protector, no matter which kind it might be. It would also be a good idea to re-register your fingerprints once you’ve removed the protector and then re-register them again once you receive the software patch fix.

Related: Samsung to fix flagship fingerprint flaw with imminent patch

The software patch will start rolling out within the next 24 hours, but it still might be a while before you see it. Sometime between now and then, you might also see an alert from Samsung that gives you a summary of the incoming update. You should read this carefully and make sure you understand it.

The Samsung fingerprint security flaw is substantial enough that banks are blocking people from using their fingerprint to log in to their proprietary apps. Hopefully, this limitation will go away once the fix is in and everything is back to normal.

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