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While modern technologies allow for a lot new possibilities, they also create new headaches and paranoias. 3D printing is no different, from stories about 3D printed guns to packaging for drug-smuggling. Now, an imgur user has shown how to unlock the Samsung Galaxy S10’s fingerprint scanning feature using a 3D printed replica. A video shows how the user can activate the phone with a relatively simple fingerprint image.

Uploaded by imgur user, ‘darkshark’, the video shows the uploader using a semi-transparent film to effectively hack the phone. The user also ensures that it is the mask replica of the print the Samsung phone is detecting by wearing a glove over his own hand. As such, the phone unlocks without so much as a hitch, detecting the fake print as though it was normal.

The caption on the 20 second video reads: “I attempted to fool the new Samsung Galaxy S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner by using 3d printing. I succeeded.

It’s important to note that breaking the Samsung Galaxy’s fingerprint lock requires a high resolution printer. The average consumer grade printer is not capable of creating such an intricate fake. Additionally, it would be an overly presumptuous leap to assume that current technology can create an authentic replica that could fool any fingerprint scanner. It is also worth noting that there are types of finger print scans and Samsung uses a simpler one. Samsung smartphones are, after all, using relatively cheaper technology than higher grade systems.

Tricking a Fingerprint Scanner

Darkshark took the impression of his fingerprints using a picture from a focal length DSLR camera. He photographed the impression from a wine glass and converted it to a printable format for the alpha mask. He created the replica using an AnyCubic Photon LCD resin printer, which gave him a 10 micron accuracy ideal for reproducing intricate designs like fingerprints. In about 13 minutes he created a fake that could fool the average Samsung Galaxy’s Fingerprint sensor.

Although, the uploader struggled at first, he managed to unlock the phone on the third try. This raises certain questions about how effective Samsung’s scanning system is in reality. As a security measure, it may be less effective than password locks until further improvement.

Featured video courtesy of darkshark, image courtesy of Pixabay.

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