Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Sparking Security Concerns Just a Week After Its Launch

Samsung Galaxy S8
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* Samsung launched the anticipated Galaxy S8 last week
* Growing concerns over phone’s security have emerged
* Videos demonstrating the malfunction prompted Samsung to comment

Samsung launched their newest android smart phone, the Galaxy S8, last Wednesday, receiving instantaneous hype and fandom. Though it’s only available for pre-order, the sleek smartphone’s luxurious look and upgraded software features are thought to be part of the company’s larger effort to erase the negative PR that’s been haunting the company since their Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

Unfortunately, less than a week after the smartphone’s launch, the positive reviews are starting to be replaced by concerns over security, due to the Galaxy S8’s new unlocking feature. The Galaxy S8 is enabled with a security unlocking feature that allows users to unlock their phone by simply looking into the camera instead of inputting a traditional pass code. The security feature uses facial recognition, a biometric security software launched in 2016, that has conjured up large-scale concerns regarding tech security.

Early reviewers of the Galaxy S8 have demonstrated a security flaw in the phone’s facial recognition system already. In one video, the reviewer shows how the phone can be easily tricked to unlock the device by the demonstrator placing a selfie from another Galaxy S8 near the phone in question. While using an image to unlock the phone takes longer than the nearly instantaneous unlocking speed at which it unlocks when prompted by a face, the phone does unlock within seconds after being prompted by an image on another phone.

In response to growing security concerns surrounding the new phone (along with viral video and corresponding reports on this failure), Samsung has acknowledged the issue but continues to defend its superior level of security. A spokesperson for Samsung told Business Insider “Facial recognition is a convenient action to open your phone – similar to the ‘swipe to unlock’ action.” He continues, “We offer the highest level of biometric authentication – fingerprint and iris – to lock your phone and authenticate access to Samsung Pay or Secure Folder.”

Samsung’s approach to using innovative technology to unlock the phone instead of the somewhat antiquated four digit pass-code is nothing new. iPhone 6 and newer models are equipped with biometric technology as well, using the finger print sensor called ID Touch to unlock devices and open apps, in lieu of typing in a password. Samsung is currently the biggest rival to Apple, and with newer and less expensive smartphone clones becoming more and more available, the company is presumably feeling pressure to step up their game with innovative features. Regardless of the Galaxy S8’s questionable security levels, the phone continues to receive positive reviews, with critics citing that the “pros of the Galaxy S8 outweigh the cons.