[Biometrics update] Samsung pushing emergency hotfix for Galaxy S10 & Note 10 to address the controversial fingerprint scanner issue

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on October 18, 2019) follows:

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S10 and S10+ with the first ultrasonic fingerprint scanner hidden under the display screen. This was a year after the first-ever smartphone with an under-display fingerprint scanner came out – the Vivo X20 Plus UD.

Vivo-X20-Plus-UD-img_assist-300x284
Vivo X20 Plus UD

But unlike the Galaxy S10, Vivo went with an optical fingerprint scanner. Apparently, it took Samsung longer to pick up the under-display fingerprint scanning tech because it wanted something more accurate and secure than optical sensors.

However, soon after the Galaxy S10 went on sale, the allegedly secure fingerprint scanning technology was easily fooled using a 3D printed fingerprint. This outrightly became a serious case of concern.

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

A while ago, another security concern regarding the Galaxy S10 ultrasonic fingerprint scanner popped up, this time involving the use of a cheap screen protector bought off eBay.

Soon after this story was picked up by mainstream media, Samsung responded by promising to push a software update to address the fingerprint scanner’s security concerns for not just Galaxy S10 users, but also those using the Galaxy Note 10 devices.

As of this writing, those using the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G variant are already receiving this hotfix as an OTA update. Since the Note 10+ 5G already got the latest October security patch, the hotfix remains on the same patch.

Galaxy-Note-10-5G-October-security-update
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G October security update

There are some minor changes to the full software version provided in the latest update, a jump from the previous version N976BXXU1ASJ2/N976BOXM1ASJ2/N976BXXU1ASIE to version N976BXXU1ASJ2/N976BOXM1ASJ5/N976BXXU1ASJ2. (Hint: Check the changes to the bolded sections).

Galaxy-Note-10-5g-update-2
(Source)

The new update weighs 17.29MB and besides addressing the fingerprint security concerns, the small update also improves touch screen performance and camera picture quality, among others.

· The performance of Fingerprint recognition has been improved
· The performance of Touch screen has been improved
· The stability of Camera has been improved.
· Camera picture quality has been improved.
· The security of your device has been improved.

To recall, the first Galaxy Note 10+ 5G September security update had this same changelog, but we hope this one actually addresses the fingerprint scanners’ concerns among Note 10+ users.

We still don’t have reports of the update arriving on Galaxy S10, S10+ and the standard Galaxy Note 10 models, but given that they too have the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on board, similar updates should also be directed their way in the coming days.

Rest assured we will keep an eye on the story and update this post when Samsung releases the hotfix for Galaxy S10 and Note 10 users. Stay tuned to our Samsung section to get the latest updates when we get them.

Update 1 (Official statement)

In an official statement that has just been published, Samsung has acknowledged the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner issue and confirmed a bug-fixing update is headed your way. The company also has some advice for S10 and Note 10 owners:

To prevent any further issues, we advise that Galaxy Note10/10+ and S10/S10+/S10 5G users who use such covers to remove the cover, delete all previous fingerprints and newly register their fingerprints. If you currently use front screen protective covers, to ensure optimum fingerprint scanning, please refrain from using this cover until your device has been updated with a new software patch. A software update is planned to be released as early as next week, and once updated, please be sure to scan your fingerprint in its entirety, so that the all portions of your fingerprint, including the center and corners have been fully scanned.
Source

Update 2 (October 21)

Some banking institutions are reportedly taking extra measures to protect their Galaxy S10 users by removing the fingerprint option in their apps. More to this story here.

Update 3 (October 24)

Samsung pushed an update to address the fingerprint issue on Galaxy S10/Note 10 in Korea. The same OTA will make its way to global units within 24 hours. Details here.

Update 4 (October 25)

Keeping yesterday’s promise, Samsung is now delivering the new fingerprint firmware for Galaxy S10 & Note 10 via a biometrics update all over the world. See here for further details.

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Hillary Keverenge

A techy. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.