Biometrically Secured Wallets Are Easy to Hack – Stop Using Them

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Unlocking your phone, crypto wallet, or laptop might be super convenient and easy to do, but it’s incredibly unsafe and dangerous. If any devious party gets hold of your device, they can gain access in less than 10 minutes and quickly steal any crypto you have laying around. Biometric security systems have been around for some time now, and companies are looking to step up the game. Samsung deployed an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor on its new S10 mobile phone, but a hacker by the name of “darkshark” has found a way to fool even this high-tech piece of kit. Given the fact the S10 has an inbuilt crypto wallet, device owners should be rather concerned by this development.

Unlocking an S10 in Under 10 Minutes

By using a rather long-winded process, hackers can pick a target and prepare ahead of time to gain access to a user’s device in under 10 minutes. Darkshark begins the process by getting hold of the target’s fingerprint – whether it’s from a glass in a bar or from the phone itself – and then enhancing it in Photoshop. Once he has done this, he sends it to his 3D printer where it will shoot out a replica of the fingerprint with enough detail that the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor will accept it as genuine. Once Darkshark has unlocked your device, he then has access to all the information inside it – including any crypto wallets in the phone.

I attempted to fool the new Samsung Galaxy S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner by using 3d printing. I succeeded.

Other Crypto Wallets at Risk

Fingerprint security is all the rage at the moment, whether it’s on your mobile banking app or your crypto wallet – everything seems to have it. To secure your crypto you’re best off using 2-factor Authentication (2FA), and while it’s a hassle to use, it will save your crypto if you ever lose your phone or have your phone stolen. Popular wallets such as BRD, Coinomi, and Edge all allow you to use your fingerprint to enter the wallet, so make sure you turn this feature off as soon as possible.

With more companies coming out with crypto wallets, securing your crypto using 2FA has never been more important. WhatsApp is close to launching its own wallet and it too will use biometric security features. Look after your crypto properly and invest in a good hardware wallet and keep that in a safe place – you will be thankful when your phone breaks or goes missing. Darkshark has highlighted a very scary security flaw with its biometric security, so we urge you to implement 2FA.