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Researchers claim to find way to hack Galaxy S5's fingerprint sensor

16 April 2014

Four days after Samsung released its long-awaited Galaxy S5, security researchers said they had already found a way to hack the fingerprint sensor of the device.

Galaxy S5In a video posted yesterday on YouTube, Security Research Labs experts demonstrated an apparent breach of the S5 using tactics similar to those employed late last year for  bypassing the fingerprint lock on Apple's iPhone 5s.

According to the group, it used a camera-phone photo of a fingerprint on a smartphone screen to create a "fake finger" sheet out of a wood-glue mould.

The strategy helped them gain access to the S5's home screen and they could even send money via the PayPal app, which used fingerprint authentication.

According to Security Research Labs, Samsung did not seem to have learned from what others had done less poorly.

"Incorporation of fingerprint authentication into highly sensitive apps such as PayPal gives a would-be attacker an even greater incentive to learn the simple skill of fingerprint spoofing."

Meanwhile, PayPal said in a statement yesterday that it took the SRL findings "very seriously," but was "still confident that fingerprint authentication offers an easier and more secure way to pay on mobile devices than passwords or credit cards."

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S5 smartphone should outsell its predecessor and defy predictions that the South Korean giant's latest model would struggle in a tough market for high-end handsets, according to a top executive, Reuters reports.

The world's biggest smartphone maker had cut prices of the S5, launched globally on Friday, offering a gift pack worth $600.

The launch also happened across 125 countries, which almost doubled the coverage from earlier launches, as the company tried sustain growth in the mobile business, which generated 70 per cent of its total profit.

A smooth launch was crucial for Samsung, which reported its second straight quarter of profit decline earlier this month with margins in the key smartphone business coming under increasing pressure from cheaper Chinese rivals.

Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung's product strategy team, told Reuters in an interview, that the S5 was selling faster than the S4 so far, though it was difficult to share specific numbers as the company was still in the early stages.

He added, sales of S5 should be much better than the S4.

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