Samsung launched the Galaxy S10 series – Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy S10e – as a major revamp for its flagship smartphone lineup. The Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+, in particular, bring a number of new features and are also the first smartphones to come with Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Sensor embedded under the display. The new sensor, according to Qualcomm, is more secure than optical fingerprint sensor. However, as with any biometric recognition system, one user found a way to fool the in-display fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S10.
In order to do so, the user relied on a 3D print of his fingerprint. In a post on Imgur, darkshark explained the process of successfully fooling the sonic sensor on the Galaxy S10+. The first step involved taking a picture of his fingerprint on the side of a wine glass. He used a smartphone camera to then capture a picture of this fingerprint but someone with a DSLR and telephoto lens could achieve similar result from across the room. The picture was then imported to Photoshop and processed further by increasing the contrast and creating an alpha mask.
The processed image was then turned into a model using 3ds Max which allowed the user to create a geometrical model with raised 3D model of every last detail of the fingerprint. He adds that it took 13 minutes to print the 3D model of the fingerprint and some tweaks later, the Galaxy S10’s fingerprint sensor was fooled by the user. At the launch of Galaxy S10 series, Samsung had promised that the sensor is designed to be more secure against such kind of spoofing.
Watch: Samsung Galaxy S10 Series First Look
This method could be used not only to trick someone’s Galaxy S10 and unlock the device but also to access banking applications, which increasingly rely on fingerprint sensor now. All it takes is a photograph of fingerprint enrolled to a device, little edits via Photoshop and a 3D printer to print the final result. We have reached out to both Qualcomm and Samsung for a comment. A $150 mask was used to beat Apple’s Face ID when it launched on iPhone X in 2017.