U.S. Senator Al Franken demands answers about Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner security or lack thereof

“U.S. Sen. Al Franken is raising questions about the security of Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone in the wake of reports that its fingerprint scanner has been hacked,” Dawn Chmielewski reports for Re/code.

“In a letter to the South Korean electronics giant, the Minnesota Democrat expressed concern about the apparent security vulnerability and Samsung’s use of fingerprint technology beyond granting access to the device — such as sending money through PayPal,” Chmielewski reports. “‘I am concerned by reports that Samsung’s fingerprint scanner may not be as secure as it may seem — and those security gaps might create broader security problems on the S5 smartphone,’ Franken wrote. ‘I am writing to request information on how Samsung is addressing these and other privacy questions.'”

“Unlike the [Apple’s Touch ID] product, Samsung allows for unlimited attempts to access the device without requiring a password and permits the broad use of the fingerprint scanner to access apps. This, he notes, invites abuse by ‘bad actors,'” Chmielewski reports. “Franken posed more than a dozen questions to Samsung…”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
U.S. Senate Democrat Al Franken demands answers from Apple CEO Tim Cook over iPhone 5s’ Touch ID – September 20, 2013

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked, PayPal accounts at risk – April 15, 2014
Apple’s iPhone 5s Touch ID vs. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner (with video) – April 4, 2014
Ars Technica: Apple’s Touch ID and 64-bit A7 are deceptively large advances in the iPhone’s evolution – September 24, 2013
Security researcher: Apple iPhone 5s Touch ID is truly better security – September 19, 2013
iPhone 5s Touch ID iPhone fingerprint scanner earns praise – September 19, 2013
Apple’s Touch ID is revolutionary, paradigm-altering technology; Steve Jobs would be quite proud – September 17, 2013
iPhone 5s: Once again Apple leaps ahead with Touch ID fingerprint recognition; a big enterprise win for Apple – September 10, 2013
Apple reveals flagship iPhone 5s with Touch ID, the world’s first and only 64-bit smartphone – September 10, 2013


    1. Samsung’s “answer”…

      Give us a break; we just wanted that bullet point in our specs. Apple spent YEARS secretly perfecting their tech. We only had a few months to copy it. It’s Apple fault for not being “open.” If we had known what Apple was doing earlier, we would have had more time to copy it.

  1. I think this is a legitimate concern. Sen. Franken expressed the same concerns about the iPhone 5S. Clearly Apple gave considerable amount of thought to these concerns before releasing their product. Somehow, I don’t see Samsung giving this issue the amount of consideration it deserves. (see previous article: Sorry about that cancer).

  2. About time. After the media practically lynched mob Apple with Touch ID, it’s only right to question Samsung bad copycat version. We see the Senator asking. Where are the rest of the Media Lynch Mob reporting this news?

      1. well, if you weren’t obtuse, the point of the original comment was the hypocrisy of Al Frankenstein belly-aching about a Samsung phone scanner feature while being a toady for every Obama anti-Fourth Amendment surveillance practices. Do you understand now?

        1. Obvious you do not understand the issue in full. Relegating a sound bite torch to burn both equally, nothing could be further from the truth. Simplistic tired tactic. Guilt by association and slanted sound bites is for the low information voter only.

    1. I have to agree. If Al Franken was short and fat, and a rubber stamp whore for the Republicans I’d be more concerned about Samsung’s total lack of security. Since Obama is President, Samsung should be allowed to sell defective fingerprint phones all they want. When we get a Republican Senator, it will time to crack down on them–but not a minute before. I really miss your convoluted thinking. Give us more!

      1. nothing convoluted, even for you, regarding the hypocrisy of condemning the security problem of a foreign smartphone scanner while being an sycophantic exponent of Obama’s rape of the Fourth Amendment. The comment has nothing to do with a political party, you’re as naive as you are illogical.

        1. Yes I agree our fourth amendment is being destroyed at a scary pace, but I don’t understand why it makes it OK for Samsung to be a crap phone that makes it even easier for us to be hacked and monitored.

          If you were so concerned about the 4th, wouldn’t you be even more outraged at Samsung? I still don’t get your logic.

  3. Oh, the Senator who won via voter fraud is spouting off again? Franken is the ultimate example of everything wrong with this country! A complete buffoon, bent on hate and fear-mongering, shrouded in a clown suit lecturing us and companies on anything while the economy collapses, a 17 trillion dollar debt continues to grow and races and classes of people hating each other thanks to his imbecilic rhetoric and failed liberal policies? He, with Ventura, will go down in history for turning Minnesota into the laughing stock of the nation! Franken, how bout u STFU and resign already?!!

    1. Sad to say, Franken typifies our US Congress by being technologically illiterate. But at least he takes an interest, however ignorantly. I can hand you a couple hundred further buffoon laughing stocks whom I’d love to see resign.

      But yeah, Minnesota, Delaware, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky blahblahblah. Lots of worthless buffoons in Congress and every other branch of government. We even have a few full blown psychopaths *cough* Paul Ryan *cough* who spin the lovely spin then put a knife in your back. Let us be rid of them ALL.

  4. This is what you get when you settle for gimmickry presented as innovation purely for marketing purposes. Why would anyone trust this bunch of cowboys who put self interest and exploitation of the gullible over security. Perhaps all those idiot analysts will lay off the nonsensical urging of Apple to present new products and technology just to please the market. No thought not.

  5. Franken and the rest of Congress are a bunch of idiots. I’m surprised Franken or anyone in Congress even knows what a fingerprint scanner is. They’re all grand standing do nothings interested only in feathering their own nests at the everyone else’s expense.

  6. You all do realise samsung have been leaders in the biometric scanner field long before apple ever thought of putting one on a phone. Samsung build these things.
    whI le they may not be amazingly secure your not going to pay over a grand for a phone. It’s a convenience not to be taken as a bulletproof security measure.

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