It was discovered recently that a cheap screen protector was all that was needed to defeat the in-display fingerprint reader included on the Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone family. Samsung has now announced that it is rolling out a fix for the device, at least initially, as a South Korea exclusive (its home market).
But don't worry; Samsung has promised that it will soon be rolling the fix out globally. The Galaxy Note 10 also suffers from the same fingerprint scanner failure as the S10, which presents itself when a silicone screen protector is used that has a texture on the inside. The fingerprint scanner reads that texture as the fingerprint and unlocks the phone.
The flaw surfaced last week when a couple in the UK found after installing a cheap screen protector from eBay that the husband could unlock the smartphone even though his fingerprint wasn't saved on the device. The owner of the phone then found that her fingers not enrolled with the device were also able to unlock it. Samsung confirmed the issue and offered a Bandaid fix.
That fix was to tell users to remove screen protectors and delete all the saved fingerprints in the device. Some financial institutions in Korea and the UK moved quickly to block the S10 and Note 10 smartphones from accessing their apps. At this time, it's not clear exactly how Samsung fixed the scanner issue. The fear for users of the devices, even if they aren't using a screen protector that allows the device to be unlocked by anyone, is that if the smartphone was lost or stolen, putting a screen protector on it with the texture could enable others to gain access to financial apps and transfer money.