The same German security researchers who demonstrated a hack of the iPhone 5s Touch ID fingerprint sensor have released a video showing that the same hack also works with the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The hack relies on photographing a latent print from something like a glass in a bar, then using lab techniques to transfer the image of the print into wood glue, which is then applied to someone else’s finger to activate the sensor … 

The researchers point out that the risk is greater with the S5 because it never requires a passcode, even after a reboot – and because a fingerprint can be used to authorise a PayPal payment without any additional security.

However, it should be stressed that the hack is non-trivial, requiring some fairly specialist kit and physical access to the phone for several hours. Provided you realise the phone is gone within this time, you can remotely wipe it.

About the Author