3D print fools Samsung Galaxy S10 in-display fingerprint sensor

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

With smartphones now every person’s primary screen when it comes to consumer technology, security is becoming increasingly important, which is why manufacturer often bake in a couple of biometric options for their devices.

One of the latest trends in the industry is in-display fingerprint sensors, which is designed to help open up some more screen real estate for the phone, as seen recently in the Samsung Galaxy S10.

Unfortunately though, the fingerprint sensor is not as secure as one may have hoped, especially if the person trying to hack it has a 3D printer.

This brings us to Imgur user darkshark, who used a 3D printer to create a copy of his fingerprint and fooled his Galaxy S10 into unlocking.

Darkshark had quite a few steps in the process, all of which sound like something out of a spy film. He took a photograph of his fingerprint, pulled from a wine bottle, which was then processed in Photoshop. From there a model was created using 3ds Max, with The Verge noting that it allowed him to extrude the lines of the fingerprint for the 3D print.

Lastly, the printing took about 13 minutes to complete, following three different attempts to get the desired result. You can see said print fool the sensor of the Galaxy S10 in the video below.

While there is certainly quite a bit that has gone into hacking the S10 in this particular case, and indeed more than most phone owners would need to worry about, the most concerning thing is that the new biometric sensing technology that Samsung employed for this device is not as secure as was once thought.

To that end Samsung opted for an ultrasonic sensor for its S10 devices, instead of the capacitive one featured on previous S-branded phones, which is also said to be more secure and harder to fool.

Based on the evidence below, that is simply not the case.

To be fair though this isn’t the first time that a flagship phone was been duped, with the iPhone X’s Face ID beaten by a simple face mask for example.

Either way it looks as if smartphone makers still have some way to go until their devices are fully secure from physical hacking.

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

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.