The Samsung Galaxy S10’s in-display fingerprint sensor supposedly offers additional security compared to other scanners in the market, but it still fell victim to a 3D-printed fingerprint.
The embedded ultrasonic fingerprint scanner of the Galaxy S10 is capable of capturing the 3D contours of thumbs and fingerprints, compared to the 2D images taken by more traditional capacitive scanners. Digital Trends mobile editor Julian Chokkattu, in his Galaxy S10 review, said that the smartphone’s version is “the best in-display fingerprint sensor I’ve tested.”
Unfortunately, it appears that the Galaxy S10 fingerprint scanner may still be tricked with the help of a 3D printer, as outlined by a person who goes by the name “darkshark” in an Imgur post.
The process started by taking a shot of darkshark’s fingerprint on the side of a wine glass. The picture went through imaging software to create a detailed 3D model, then passed to 3D printing software and his AnyCubic Photon LCD resin printer, which is accurate to about 10 microns.
It took darkshark three tries, but the third 3D-printed fingerprint, with a print time of 13 minutes, was capable of unlocking his Galaxy S10.
With his discovery, darkshark raised several concerns. Stolen smartphones already have the fingerprint of their users all over, and darkshark claimed that he prepare the 3D model in less than three minutes. He can also remotely start the 3D printing, so the fake fingerprint will be ready to unlock a stolen Galaxy S10 by the time he gets to it.
There are certainly several things that need to fall into place before a Galaxy S10 owner is victimized by this, including the carelessness to lose a nearly $1,000 smartphone and a thief completely equipped to 3D print a fake fingerprint. The fact remains that there exists a bypass to what was supposed to be a very secure feature.
Samsung said last month that it will continue to provide updates to the Galaxy S10 in-display fingerprint scanner to make further improvements, after some owners experienced reliability issues and other negative experiences with the technology after launch. It would now appear that Samsung will also have to take a look at how to stop 3D-printed fingerprints from gaining access to the Galaxy S10.