Samsung fixing ultrasonic fingerprint sensor security flaw within 24 hours

Samsung has promised its fix for a critical security flaw with the fingerprint sensor will arrive within the next 24 hours for affected flagship devices.

Samsung is wasting no time remedying the issue, which affects the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus devices, after it was discovered a week ago.

The flaw is affecting those phone owners who use certain third-party screen protectors to register a fingerprint via the under-display biometric sensor added with the S10 and Note 10.

Somewhat incredibly, the sensor registers the patten imprinted by the screen protector, rather than the fingerprint, meaning anyone can effectively unlock the device.

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The company is getting in touch with users to explain a “biometrics update” will be gradually pushed directly to devices over the course of the next day. Users will receive a notification with instructions to install the patch (via Android Police). Naturally, the company is telling users to delete any previous fingerprints they had previously registered to the device.

In the note Samsung reiterates it “takes the security of our products very seriously. We sill strive to continually test and improve our biometric authentication features through further updates.”

Last week, Samsung advised users to remove all third-party covers for their devices while it worked on the security patch. The company thanked users for their patience, but failed to apologise for the issue, which has led to some banking apps disabling fingerprint authentication.

When Samsung initially launched the ultrasonic feature inside the S10, it said it provided “invisible yet vault-like security that keeps your data safe”. However, failing to test the feature with third-party screen protectors millions of users buy to protect their expensive screens from thrills and spills, was akin to leaving the door unlocked and wide open with an invitation to make yourself at home.

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