PayPal releases new app to use with Galaxy Gear, utilizes S5 fingerprint reader

With the Samsung Galaxy S5 being released, PayPal is keeping its promise of utilizing the fingerprint reader on the S5 when PayPal announced the feature at the 2014 Mobile World Congress. PayPal has released their apps this Friday which were specifically designed for use with the S5 and Galaxy Gear wearables. However, Samsung devices are not the only ones that can use the new app.

Instead of typing in a username and password, you can just type your username, and with a simple swipe of your finger across the scanner, you will be logged in instantly to make payments either online, or at select brick and mortar stores. This feature did not exist until these devices were released. PayPal's newest app will allow Samsung Galaxy Gear 2, and Gear Fit smartwatch users to make payments, redeem offers, and receive payment notifications on the fly.

It is unfortunate that this feature would be released following the report of the HeartBleed security flaw, which has been rumored to have been exploited by the NSA. That being said, LastPass shows that PayPal has not been affected by this vulnerability.

Source: PayPal via GigaOm | PayPal image via Shutterstock

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21 Comments

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Gear aside, Paypal is one of the worst companies out there. Do yourself a favor and look for ANY alternative. Google a few horror stories and you'll see what I mean, more than a few people have been robbed by this unscrupulous company.

Hahaiah said,
Gear aside, Paypal is one of the worst companies out there. Do yourself a favor and look for ANY alternative. Google a few horror stories and you'll see what I mean, more than a few people have been robbed by this unscrupulous company.

Heres one. Lost 500 bucks once.

theyarecomingforyou said,
More secure than a passcode / password, which is the current alternative.

Please explain how thats more secure.

coolhund said,

Please explain how thats more secure.

Depends on whether Android phones haven actually taken biometric data seriously.

coolhund said,
Please explain how thats more secure.

1) It can't be guessed.
2) It can't be overlooked.
3) It requires technical expertise to bypass.

In order to bypass fingerprint scanners it requires access to a clean print of the correct finger (difficult to acquire), prolonged access to the device, specialised knowledge and specialised equipment. It is not something that can be bypassed casually, unlike passcodes, passwords and patterns. That's certainly not to say it can't be bypassed but it is substantially harder to do so.

theyarecomingforyou said,

1) It can't be guessed.
2) It can't be overlooked.
3) It requires technical expertise to bypass.

In order to bypass fingerprint scanners it requires access to a clean print of the correct finger (difficult to acquire), prolonged access to the device, specialised knowledge and specialised equipment. It is not something that can be bypassed casually, unlike passcodes, passwords and patterns. That's certainly not to say it can't be bypassed but it is substantially harder to do so.

You can brute force a thumbprint reader.

theyarecomingforyou said,

1) It can't be guessed.
2) It can't be overlooked.
3) It requires technical expertise to bypass.

In order to bypass fingerprint scanners it requires access to a clean print of the correct finger (difficult to acquire), prolonged access to the device, specialised knowledge and specialised equipment. It is not something that can be bypassed casually, unlike passcodes, passwords and patterns. That's certainly not to say it can't be bypassed but it is substantially harder to do so.

Mythbusters have proven its very easy actually. And if you have the phone, which you will need to bypass anything, its even easier.

coolhund said,
Mythbusters have proven its very easy actually.

No they didn't. They proved it was possible, not easy. It's dramatically more involved that bypassing a passcode / password / pattern, especially as those can be easily overlooked.

The point is not that fingerprint biometrics are secure, it's that they're more secure that the alternatives.

theyarecomingforyou said,

No they didn't. They proved it was possible, not easy. It's dramatically more involved that bypassing a passcode / password / pattern, especially as those can be easily overlooked.

The point is not that fingerprint biometrics are secure, it's that they're more secure that the alternatives.

########, a little brains gives you the perfect password or pattern. Yes, it can be overlooked, but as I said, if you have the phone, you have a fingerprint too. And it really is easy. Watch that episode again. Once you have a fingerprint, and even if you dont have the phone, its not that hard to get, it is very easy.

It requires specialised equipment and expertise, as well as a clean print from the correct finger. Most of the time you won't get a clean print from the phone itself. Anyone can overlook someone entering in a passcode / password (it doesn't matter how "perfect" it is if someone sees you input it) - very few have the ability to bypass a fingerprint scanner.

Nothing will stop a dedicated individual from accessing your phone but fingerprint scanners are more secure in most circumstances.

theyarecomingforyou said,
It requires specialised equipment and expertise, as well as a clean print from the correct finger. Most of the time you won't get a clean print from the phone itself. Anyone can overlook someone entering in a passcode / password (it doesn't matter how "perfect" it is if someone sees you input it) - very few have the ability to bypass a fingerprint scanner.

Nothing will stop a dedicated individual from accessing your phone but fingerprint scanners are more secure in most circumstances.


Actually it's pretty simple. You use a disposable item (say a cofee cup or something plastic), leave your fingerprints on it, someone acquires said item (e.g. from a bin), gets your fingerprints from it, scans them into a computer...
Wow, they're not good enough quality to bypass a fingerprint scanner, you've pretty much got most of the lines from the finger though, all you need to do now is join the dots in photoshop. 5 minutes later, you've got an image of a fingerprint that'll bypass the majority of fingerprint readers.

n_K said,

Actually it's pretty simple. You use a disposable item (say a cofee cup or something plastic), leave your fingerprints on it, someone acquires said item (e.g. from a bin), gets your fingerprints from it, scans them into a computer...
Wow, they're not good enough quality to bypass a fingerprint scanner, you've pretty much got most of the lines from the finger though, all you need to do now is join the dots in photoshop. 5 minutes later, you've got an image of a fingerprint that'll bypass the majority of fingerprint readers.

And to make matters worse, when someone has your fingerprint, it's not like you get to change it.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Yeah, I mean it's not like people have more than one finger. :rolleyes:

Limited options and still vulnerable to the same problem.