Samsung touts its ultrasonic fingerprint as “a revolutionary in-display fingerprint sensor fused into the Infinity-O Display, providing invisible yet vault-like security that keeps your data safe.” However, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know - along with the rest of the civilized world - that the company faced serious security flaws a week ago, when a user from the United Kingdom found out that they could unlock their Samsung Galaxy S10’s screen with anyone’s finger, even if it wasn’t their own. Specifically, the entire family of that user was able to unlock the device using nothing but a $3.44 gel wraparound case.
Today, more than a week after the incident was first published on the news and a few days after Samsung openly recognized the flaw, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy Note 10 users are impatiently waiting for the hotfix. Although it shouldn’t be long, Samsung now also has to deal with another issue that came from the banks; they seem to be stripping the Korean tech giant’s two phones from their apps and the support that goes with them.
This issue was first brought to public attention by a Reddit user who shared a screenshot that showed NatWest wasn’t downloadable at his device. Specifically, the British bank wrote: “We’ve removed the app from the Play Store for customers with Samsung S10 devices. This is due to reports that there are security concerns regarding these devices. We hope to have our app available again shortly once the issue has been resolved. JK”.
After a bit of digging, we were able to find out that another financial institution, Nationwide Building Society, currently allows the Galaxy S10 users to download their app but doesn’t let them log in using their fingerprints.
Hapoalim Bank, one of Israel’s biggest banks also sent a similar message to Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 users while KaKao Bank, an internet North Korean bank warned its users to not use their devices’ fingerprint sensors.
The list goes on with other banks from China, Germany and so on and so forth. And while all that fuss will allegedly be solved once Samsung releases its fix, it still looks that we may have an increased number of security breach incidents, including those banking apps, since not all of the owners of the troubled devices are going to install the fix on time.
Thankfully, Samsung is finally starting to think ahead and is now also working feverishly to bolster the face recognition security in its devices. At this point, it is worth mentioning that while all other smartphone makers use all sorts of sensors to ensure a smooth face unlocking experience, Samsung is trusting solely its cutting-edge camera technologies to do so.
To ensure increased security, the company is adding new toggles of its face unlock feature with the upcoming Android 10. Specifically, there is an ‘Alternate looks’ toggle that should help the user unlock their devices even when they’re wearing glasses or a hat. Additionally, with Android 10, users will have to keep their eyes open to unlock their phones. That is possibly a decent security improvement that we hope to see happening on Google’s Pixel 4 as well.
What are your thoughts on Samsung’s take on security? Let us know in the comments below!