One of the most anticipated announcements with the launch of Samsung's Galaxy S10 phone was its fingerprint scanner that is "in-display". This feature is available for the S10+ and the S10 models. It has the convenience of having the fingerprint scanner built into the phone screen that makes it enticing, that is why it is being pushed by Samsung. But aside from that, it promises additional security because it is upgraded to an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor instead of the usual optical reader. This feature is capable of creating a 3D map of your fingerprint, that means that it is only you who can unlock your phone.
However, recent news has proven that Samsung's security is not as stable as we think.
The difference with the fingerprint scanner that is added in the S10 and S10+ smartphones is that it can capture 3D images rather than the traditional 2D images. It uses high-frequency ultrasonic soundwaves so it can map the fingerprint of the user in detail that includes pores, ridges and the flat patterns.
It can do this by transmitting the pulse of the ultrasonic sound against your finger, it can then analyze the pressure of your pulse and it gets bounced back. This is, of course, different for everyone as each as a different fingerprint so it will absorb different types and amounts of wave pressure.
How did it get hacked?
As far as the scanner is concerned, nothing went wrong and its job was done perfectly. Unfortunately, a researcher was able to use a picture of his fingerprint from a wine glass and, by using Photoshop, he created an alpha mask from it. The mask that he created was exported to 3D Max software to create a geometry displacement so that he can get a detailed and raised model in 3D style. This then ensured all the ridges, lines and patterns of the fingerprint were properly rendered. It took him just 13 minutes after which the fake fingerprint opened his Galaxy S10 every time.