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Why it doesn’t matter: Galaxy S10 fingerprint scanner tricked by 3D-printed finger

By Anton D. Nagy April 8, 2019, 2:00 pm

If you’ve been living anywhere except in a cave in the last couple of days, you’ve probably read (not on Pocketnow, because we didn’t think it was important) that someone tricked the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S10 using a 3D-printed finger/print. Every blog and their mother… company’s blog and outlet picked it up and ran the story, so we thought of telling you why it doesn’t matter. Not one bit!

So the original post that started all this is embedded below, with a short video demo, and says: “I attempted to fool the new Samsung Galaxy S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner by using 3d printing. I succeeded“. That is great! But it doesn’t matter at all, maybe except for proof of concept or lab-test scenarios.


I’m not here to defend Samsung, or any other company, but I’m here to reassure you that it’s OK to buy a Galaxy S10, or any other phone, despite someone managing to trick its biometrics with a 3D-printed model.

First, in order to have a 3D-printed model, there has to be a source for the 3D print to copy. If someone has access to your fingerprint in order to create a 3D-model that hacks in your phone, he’d be a fool not to use it directly on your phone. Keep your fingers and their prints private. Well, do your best! ?

Second, this is far blown out of proportion comparing to older hack attempts to unlock a phone using a photo instead of a real facial or iris recognition. That is far more accessible. Fingerprint 3D-models are much more complicated to replicate, and we’re not necessarily talking about the tech required to replicate them, but the need for an actual fingerprint to replicate.

At the end of the day, if you want to go all CSI on your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s phone, you already have a huge problem. If your name is FBI, CIA, NSA, MI5, 6, Mossad, FSB, or any other abbreviated agency, you still need a fingerprint source you can replicate. This is easy for you to do, and you might even have a 3D printer to use on a Samsung phone. Let’s say, as long as you stay away from these entities, you should be fine. Nobody at the bar will be able to unlock your phone using this method. Neither the Uber/Lyft driver after finding your misplaced phone. Can we move on?

I attempted to fool the new Samsung Galaxy S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner by using 3d printing. I succeeded.


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