Following reports that a simple gel cover can let people
bypass fingerprint authentication on Samsung Galaxy S10 phones, a few banking
institutions disabled the fingerprint authentication on their apps for this
A recent Android Police report
said the UK’s NatWest and Nationwide Building Society already took measures to
counteract this problem. NatWest chose to remove the app completely from the
store for Samsung owners until the company issues a fix.
The fingerprint sensor on Samsung Galaxy S10 devices is
embedded in the display and uses ultrasounds to map the surface of the fingers.
It’s very precise, but it turns out that if you use a particular type of gel
screen protector, anyone can log in, leaving the phone wide open.
A phone thief could easily access your account if the
banking app uses fingerprint authentication and not a PIN. Losing a phone can
quickly transform into a much larger problem.
Samsung already acknowledged
the issue in a statement:
“If you currently use front screen protective covers, to
ensure optimum fingerprint scanning, please refrain from using this cover until
your device has been updated with a new software patch. A software update is
planned to be released as early as next week, and once updated, please be sure
to scan your fingerprint in its entirety, so that all portions of your
fingerprint, including the center and corners have been fully scanned.”
It doesn’t really matter if people use official
accessories from Samsung since this is not the main issue. If you have a
Samsung Galaxy S10, delete stored prints and secure the phone with a PIN or
pattern until the patch arrives.