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Galaxy S10 in-display fingerprint sensor tricked by 3D-printed fingerprint

Published Apr 5th, 2019 7:06PM EDT
Galaxy S10 fingerprint sensor
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Samsung’s Galaxy S10 was one of its most significant product launches of the past few years, bringing with it a host of upgrades, including the triple-rear camera and an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. Unfortunately, the latter of those two upgrades has been the subject of multiple complaints since the phone’s launch, the latest of which might be the most worrisome of all. As it turns out, the sensor isn’t nearly as secure as it should be.

In a post on Imgur this week, a user going by darkshark demonstrated how easily he was able to trick the in-display fingerprint sensor on a Galaxy S10 with a 3D-printed fingerprint. It’s hard to imagine anyone going to these lengths to get into someone’s phone, but that fact that it is possible is still incredibly concerning.

Darkshark explains that it took three attempts to get the ridge height on the homemade fingerprint correct, but that the 3D-printed print often works just as well as his own finger. You can see it in action below:

You can read the full Imgur post to learn how exactly darkshark pulled this off, but the process was relatively simple, and one that any determined thief could replicate. After taking a picture of his own fingerprint on a wine glass with his smartphone, he opened the image in Photoshop, created an alpha mask, exported it to 3ds Max, and made a raised 3D model of the print. He then printed it on a AnyCubic Photon LCD resin printer in 13 minutes.

There are clearly several hurdles that need to be overcome to use this trick (access to someone’s phone, access to their fingerprints, access to Photoshop, and access to a 3D printer, to name a few). Nevertheless, the fact that a 3D-printed copy of a fingerprint is just as effective as an actual finger is a bad sign.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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