This past week the Wall Street Journal reported that researchers had discovered that Samsung's new Galaxy S5 fingerprint sensor has a loophole that could leave a user's phone—and their PayPal money app—vulnerable to hackers. The exploit that is demonstrated in this YouTube video, bypasses the Galaxy S5′s fingerprint lock using a fake fingerprint made from wood glue. While I'm certainly not a big believer in these kinds of videos showing how easy it is to fake fingerprint systems found on the Galaxy S5 or the iPhone 5S, the fact is that when it comes to the future use of mobile smartphones as e-wallets, more security layering may be required to keep user bank accounts and PayPal-like accounts safer. Earlier this month a new Samsung invention came to light via the US Patent Office that shows us that a superior e-Wallet authentication system is on the drawing board that could roll out to market in the not-too-distant-future.
One of Samsung's latest inventions generally relates to a new e-wallet authentication system that includes new fingerprint techniques and various other layers of optional security.
In Samsung's patent FIG. 21 noted below we're able to see a view an illustrated example of a new setting screen of a future e-wallet application. The payment mode may include an automatic mode and a manual mode. The automatic mode may be a mode in which a payment is automatically performed without a credit card and the manual mode is a mode in which the credit card has to be selected before the payment.
Further, there is an option to enter a PIN code, a signature and/or a pattern input to act as your added authorization method. The user may be able to select a desired option or combination of security features for their e-wallet application.
Samsung's patent FIGS. 13 and 14 noted above are views illustrating examples of payment authorization screen options.
Possible Future Dual Fingerprint Scanners
In Samsung's patent FIG. 27 noted above we're able to see a new twist that would require a user to fingerprint scan two fingers at the same time making it more difficult for thieves to duplicate.
The fingerprint recognition may be performed through a method using a semiconductor chip and/or a method using an optical unit.
The method using a semiconductor chip is a method of sensing a shape of a fingerprint using an electric conduction characteristic of a skin. That is, the method is a method of reading change in an amount of charges sensed by a sensor array and obtaining fingerprint information according to pressure of the fingers placed on a chip surface of a silicon chip and a heat image when fingertips come in direct contact with the surface of the silicon chip.
The method using an optical unit is a method of emitting light, receiving the light reflected from a surface of a finger, and sensing characteristic of the finger surface.
Multi-Finger Security Combinations
In Samsung's patent FIG. 34 noted below we're able to see a process where the user registers the fingerprints of a plurality of fingers. When the fingerprint registration operation is started, the system's controller displays a guide image (#3400) and a guide message (#3410) respectively. The user touches the fingerprint sensor with a finger which is designated through the guide message. The fingerprint sensor senses the fingerprint when it is touched with the finger.
When the fingerprint is sensed, the controller stores information on the sensed fingerprint a storage unit and displays a guide message (#3420) for selecting a function to be matched with the fingerprint information and an icon (#3430) for each function on the display unit. As you could see, you could assign a different fingerprint combination to open your e-wallet, your email, your browser and so forth.
The use of higher end security features will be something that we'll all have to become familiar with over time as a means to better protect our smartphones that will be doubling as our electronic wallets.
In March of this year Patently Apple illustrated a patent figure from a recent patent filing by Raytheon which covered a new custom biometric authentication process that involved a combination of differing finger fingerprints and a retina scan.
While Samsung's first version of their fingerprint scanner working with PayPal may not hold the security some would like to see, it's clear that their e-wallet application will eventually evolve with superior security features. Samsung's latest patent application clearly shows us that Samsung acknowledges their first system shortfalls by detailing their plans to vastly improve the authentication process over time.
Samsung filed their patent application back in Q4 2013. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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