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Security Research Lab Hacks Samsung Galaxy S5’s Fingerprint Security Feature

Updated on April 21, 2014

Security Research Lab

A few days after the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S5, a group of professional hackers from Germany known as Security Research Lab (SRL) have proved that the security features of the device can be bypassed with ease. More particularly with the fingerprint security scan of the device which Samsung said was it’s main feature prior to it’s release.


Youtube Video

SRL made the announcement via a youtube video which shows them creating an imprint of a fingerprint on to a wood glue mould mimicking the owner’s fingerprint. The glue mould was then used to swipe the surface of the device to gain access to the phones data. It was a similar method SRL had used against Iphone’s 5s when they had also revealed the same security flaw. Only this time, they say, was even worse since it was less of a challenge to prove their point.

Although several attempts were made in swiping the mimicked fingerprint to the device to be able to gain access, the added security feature of password challenge simply was not enough to deter a hacker to succeed. After 5 failed attempts of swiping, all one needs to do is to restart the device to bypass the password challenge and simply start all over again.

Paypal Issue

SRL’s revelation had caused great concern among those who have already acquired the Samsung Galaxy S5. Since the fingerprint security scan can be linked to sensitive applications like Paypal, this makes the user’s Paypal account vulnerable to hackers once their device has been stolen.

To address these concern Paypal issued a statement saying that they take SRL’s claim seriously nevertheless, they still favour using the biometric security system on mobile devices. Paypal believes the system still provides a better alternative as compared to credit cards and passwords. They will even provide coverage for any loss arising from hacked accounts.

Bottom Line

Meanwhile Samsung announced that SRL’s claim poses no serious risk to its consumers as the experiment is a rare combination of unique material, equipment and condition that is highly improbable to occur.

In all likelihood, the general consumer will not be affected by SRL’s claim and that Samsung’s Galaxy S5 will continue to make an impact in the market. Since Samsung values quality for all of it’s product, what can be expected is for the company to release a fix to correct the problem.


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