Latest Samsung lock-screen hack has been identified

20 Mar 2013

Samsung is understood to be working on a software fix for a new lock-screen hack that has been identified by Terrence Eden. The hack allows unofficial access to PIN-secured Galaxy smartphones through a combination of keypresses and commands.

The exploit relies on a brief visibility of the phone’s display unlocked after a failed emergency call is placed from the lockscreen.

The flaw was identified by Terrence Eden, who earlier this month found ways to bypass the lockscreen security on the Galaxy Note II which led to a second hack for the Galaxy S III.

If the hack is successful it could enable hackers to make calls and download apps.

Eden said the hack does not occur on stock Android devices and only seems to be present on Samsung’s version of Android.

“Until Samsung release a patch, the only way this can be defended against is by completely removing the Samsung firmware and replacing it with a third-party ROM,” Eden said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years