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Time to Change Your Password?

3D Printing a Fingerprint to Fool a Samsung Galaxy S10 Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner

Picture of Hanna Watkin
by Hanna Watkin
Apr 8, 2019

Imgur user darkshark created a 3D printed finger to trick the Samsung Galaxy S10’s in-display fingerprint sensor. It worked, proving we should be more careful who to trust with our personal information.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 boasts an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner and is one of the best fingerprint sensors mone can buy. It claims an additional layer of security as the scanner is in-display and able to capture the 3D contours of your thumb.

With such high claims, Imgur used darkshark set out to prove that even this impressive piece of tech could be overcome with a simple trick – 3D printing a fingerprint.

“It took me 3 reprints trying to get the right ridge height (and I forgot to mirror the fingerprint on the first one) but yeah, 3rd time was the charm. The 3D print will unlock my phone… in some cases just as well as my actual finger does,” darkshark explains.

fingerprint sensor

3D Print a Finger But Don’t Steal a Phone

In order to 3D print a fingerprint to fool the ultrasonic scanner, all darkshark needed to do was take a photograph of their fingerprint on the side of a wine glass with a smartphone.

Next, using Photoshop, darkshark increased the contrast and created an alpha mask. This was exported to 3ds Max where a geometry displacement could be created to give a raised 3D model of every last detail of the fingerprint.

After preparing the model in 3D printing software, it was ready to print on an accurate AnyCubic Photon LCD resin printer. Print time was just 13 minutes and it worked a charm.

However, darkshark adds that there are many ethical issues raised. Your fingerprints suddenly become easy to steal from across a bar using a long focal length DSLR camera…

Perhaps more worryingly, darkshark explains: “If I steal someone’s phone, their fingerprints are already on it. I can do this entire process in less than 3 minutes and remotely start the 3D print so that it’s done by the time I get to it. Most banking apps only require fingerprint authentication so I could have all of your info and spend your money in less than 15 minutes if your phone is secured by fingerprint alone.”

Worried? Perhaps you should say goodbye to newfangled technologies and rely on the safest method of locking your phone – a randomly generated password.

Source: imgur

fingerprint sensor

License: The text of "3D Printing a Fingerprint to Fool a Samsung Galaxy S10 Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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