HMD responds to Nokia 9 PureView’s fingerprint scanner issue

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April 23, 2019
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[Update] HMD says it’s investigating the issue.

It looks like the issue is only limited to a handful of Nokia 9 PureView devices which have received the recent update.

Nokia 9 PureView is a solid performer and comes with a unique camera setup to give the look and feel of a real flagship. But the in-display fingerprint scanner of the device doesn’t work so well. HMD pushed an update to address the scanner’s poor performance. However, that didn’t run well though. That buggy update has apparently impacted the Nokia 9’s in-screen fingerprint scanner, which can now be easily bypassed using unregistered fingerprints or even with something as common as a chewing gum packet.

We have received an official statement from HMD:

“We have not been able to replicate the issue so far but we will continue to investigate for the avoidance of any doubt and let you know of any further updates.”

Despite the fact that Nokia 9 PureView incorporates an optical fingerprint sensor, it’s quite disappointing that the Nokia 9’s biometric feature can easily be fooled in such a common object. The users started facing issues in their handsets as soon as they install the OS update version 4.22 which was released last week. A user who goes by the Twitter handle Decodedpixel has revealed how simple it is to unlock the phone firstly by using a finger and then with just a chewing gum packet.

The thing that makes this recent situation more surprising is the fact that the fingerprint sensor isn’t fooled by a copy of the originally registered fingerprint, but by other objects entirely. Users are generally advised not to unlock their phone using the fingerprint sensor and use a different mode of authentication; such as pattern, pin code, or password.

If this problem has occurred due to a software update, then we can hope it should be fixed with a future OTA. However, the issue faced by HMD’s phone is unique in a sense that bio-metric features of Apple and Samsung were previously questioned but they were fooled by the owners of the devices. The Nokia 9 PureView issue discussed is particularly troubling, though.

The story has been updated to add HMD’s official statement. (4-26-2019 — 10:29 PST)

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