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Lock screen hack for Samsung Galaxy phones running Android 4.1.2 uncovered


Note 2 lockscreen can be hacked
Note 2 lockscreen can be hacked

Just yesterday we brought news that Apple had launched iOS 6.1.3 to plug a particularly unpleasant security hole that allowed the iPhone's lock screen to be bypassed.

Judging by evidence that came to light today, it looks as it Samsung is going to have to issue a similar patch for its handsets running the forked version of Android Jelly Bean version 4.1.2.

Mobile enthusiast and blogger Terrence Eden posted a video on his personal site displaying how best-selling handsets like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3, running the company's implementation of Android 4.1.2 can be hacked into through a series of complex button pushes.

The flaw, which doesn't appear to affect Samsung handsets running other versions of Android, allows the lock screen to be disabled through the device's emergency call screen.

Eden uncovered a method whereby dialing an invalid emergency number (like zero) leaves the home screen open for a fraction of a second, long enough to issue a single command, such as opening the Google Play.

With impeccable timing and very quick fingers Eden was able to repeat the process enough times to activate voice search within the Play Store, ask for a "No lock" app, download, install and open it. This completely deactivated all security measures, including pattern unlock, pass code and face unlock.

Eden claims the flaw is not evident in the stock version of Android and said the only way to completely conquer it is to root the device and remove Samsung's Marmite-esque TouchWiz user-interface.

However, help may be on the way. He also revealed that he reported the flaw to Samsung at the end of last month and was assured by the company that it was working on a fix.

Check out his methods in the video below. Regardless of how worrying the flaw is for Samsung owners, it's pretty darn impressive that Eden was able to a) discover this and b) execute it.

Via TechCrunch


November 13, 2013, 8:04 pm

Not trying to troll here ... I'm a Note II owner running 4.1.2 aswell, and whenever I did exactly as this video had shown to do using the emergency call, and after I close the dialog just as he did my phone turns black for a split second (thus not showing the homescreen) and then reverts back to the pattern lock screen. I hate to say it but, their phone may just have some nice lag or the person intentionally rigged this up to work on his phone that's probably rooted.


November 13, 2013, 8:05 pm

Just to note since I forgot to mention I'm running the stock note2 verizon rom and my phone isn't rooted.


March 23, 2014, 10:41 pm


i had the same problem, my phone is a galaxy discovery. With the battery taken out and put back in, I held in the power button and the volume button. NOT the up or down but the WHOLE button. And I held it for a long time. It rebooted and then the Samsung logo hung there a min and then.. An android screen came up, with many options to fix your phone. You slide up and down with the volume button. I chose the factory reset. I lost a few cell numbers as they were stored on the phone but it didn't touch my sim card or my sd card, so that was ok.

Thanks for your help


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