Samsung Fingerprint Check 'Flawed' on Galaxy S5: Researchers

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 03:38 PM

By Angela Deines

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The new Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint security feature has been hacked by a German company that tests smartphones and other technological devices for their vulnerabilities, according to PC Magazine.

Researchers at Security Research Labs (SRLabs) made a mold of a latent fingerprint and used it to get into a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone successfully. Exposing this weakness has raised concerns that PayPal may be the next target for hackers, PC Magazine reports, since the Galaxy S5 uses fingerprint authentication for accessing a person’s PayPal accounts.

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“Despite being one of the premium phone’s flagship features, Samsung’s implementation of fingerprint authentication leaves much to be desired,” says a video by SRLabs that has received more than 632,000 views on YouTube as of Friday.

The video shows how a wood glue mold was made from a latent fingerprint last year and was then used several times to hack into devices without authentication.

“The finger scanner feature in Samsung Galaxy S5 raises additional security concerns to those already voiced about comparable implementations,” the video says. “While biometrics will always carry with them a tradeoff of security for convenience, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to implement them in a way that does not put their users’ crucial data and payment accounts at risk.”

SRLabs also exposed the security vulnerabilities of the Apple iPhone 5S and its Touch ID feature last year.

Samsung hasn’t commented on their fingerprint security issue as of yet.

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