Another day, another lock screen bug. After issues were discovered with Apple devices running iOS 6.1 and Samsung's Galaxy S III, a new bug has been discovered on Samsung hardware that could allow full access to a user's phone. The vulnerability was discovered by Terence Eden, who recently found a different lock screen bug with the Galaxy Note II. 

The new issue found by Eden again revolves around the Emergency Call functionality of a Samsung device. After a person makes a failed call on the emergency screen, the device apparently flashes the previously open app for a brief moment, which is just enough time for someone actually use the app on the screen before it locks again. Eden demonstrates how a person could exploit this bug to search for apps in the Google Play Store using voice control and install an app that disables the device's lock screen. Eventually Eden is able to run the app and gain full access to the handset. The phone used in the demonstration is a Galaxy Note II running Android 4.1.2, and Eden says that it should also work on a Galaxy S III.

Taking advantage of this bug is something that would require the person to have fast hands and access to a Samsung device for a few minutes, but if performed correctly, it could grant access to any app on the phone. The good news is that Eden reported the bug to Samsung in late February, and that the company responded by saying that it's working on a fix that should be available soon. To help protect against this issue, it'd be a good idea to keep your handset as close to you as possible and out of the hands of any ne'er-do-wells, which is probably something that you should be doing anyway. A video of Eden performing the exploit on a Galaxy Note II can be found below.

Via SlashGear, EdenTerence on YouTube, Terence Eden blog

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the Samsung Galaxy Note II Marble White 16GB

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Comments & discussions  

42 Reactions to this post

"Another lock screen bug has been found that could allow a person to totally bypass the lock screen of a Samsung device running Android 4.1. What kind of lock screen protection do you use on your devices?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Christian Rodriguez
Christian Rodriguez I tried this on my phone and it didn't work. The part when you call a non-existant #, the press back it just goes straight back to the pattern lock. Maybe somethings is just wrong with his phone.
Paul Battle
Paul Battle I use avg. Like a boss.
Rachael Ruth Anne Goldfarb
Rachael Ruth Anne Goldfarb My question is, does this work only with the pattern lock, or can it be done with the pin lock as well? And by the way, this is why I have look out added on my phone, in case anyone fails to do my pattern lock more than three times, it takes a snap shot secretly of the person trying to unlock the phone and gives me a general gps location of where my phone is sent to my email....
Chester Candelaria
Chester Candelaria well every phone and every os has bugs @_@
Veronica Thibodeau Tomlinson
Veronica Thibodeau Tomlinson Haha and they bash Apple?
Allan Jesus Hernandez
Allan Jesus Hernandez I don't lock my phone. :)
Dallas Henley
Dallas Henley I'm the only one who uses my Note 2 so this isn't a big deal at all.
Felix Tran
Felix Tran I think you just need to lock the Play store. That's a way to prevent someone from exploiting the bug, or turn off the animation. Btw, I admire people who have the energy to fight the Android vs. iOS war on a post that hardly has anything to do with that...you guys sure have a lot of free time, try to do something more productive.
Odin Johnson
Odin Johnson There are bugs in every piece of software! Companies just need to fix them when they are found. Stop bitching. I like Android, iOS, and Blackberry. It just depends on what my needs are. The Galaxy Note II fits my smartphone needs and i also own an iPad. I used to be a Blackberry only person. All of the fanboy crap is stupid. I have not used Windows Phone yet, but I am sure there is something that I would like about it also. It's all about your personal preferences and needs.
Andre Roberts
Andre Roberts Why does anyone need a lock screen? I never use that crap, it's pointless to me.
Camar Green
Camar Green Noriel Dacer I switched to iPhone and the regret I have is that I did thinking it would be better fml was I ever wrong. Boring and ever so bad
Dounutz Sesar
Dounutz Sesar Who ever to touches my note would no longer have a hand
Larry Waters
Larry Waters I use Windows Phone's screen lock. Android is just too open source and vulnerable to bugs and malware.
Charles W. Y. Wong
Charles W. Y. Wong Insurance from carrier and pattern lock. I dont care about the bugs
Joel Diaz
Joel Diaz Ok this may be a bit off topic but seriously, iPhone is garbage and if u don't agree ur either a hater or in denial. Get it together already and become an android user. U shuda done so years ago bro.
Noriel Dacer
Noriel Dacer @shiela Ellis i traded to iphone, so what now? and no regret at all.. dont hate,learn to appreciate.
Sheila Ellis
Sheila Ellis iPhone had it's day, just as the Treo and Blackberry had their day. It is Android's turn so, it is no wonder that it is a target to find and exploit vulnerabilities...there are more USERS that would be affected. But face it, no one in their right mind would trade an HTC ONE, Galaxy Note 2, S3 or S4...for an iPhone!!! And for the topic: Lockscreen is not my protection of choice.
Robert Wellington Clubine III
Robert Wellington Clubine III iOS is at 6.1.3 now and these steps to bypass the lock screen is too much for thrives to bother with.
Saad Khan
Saad Khan Samdung sucks :P
Douglas Prevo
Douglas Prevo I don't buy a Samsung. Its great protection from lock screen bugs.
Jamille Browne
Jamille Browne I must say its an easier process on the iPhone by the looks of it.
Debbie Kains-Coupal
Debbie Kains-Coupal None, no one touches my Note 2, it's never very far out of my sight
Jamille Browne
Jamille Browne Oh how easy it is to forget that iOs currently has the SAME BUG http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MP-w436CfvQ
Jamille Browne
Jamille Browne So easy to prevent things like this for 1.) Put a pin requirement oon google play. 2 disable shortcuts. 3. use common sense and don't leave your phone around.
Stephanie Wall
Stephanie Wall That fact they made fun of iPhone because of the same thing lol epic fail
Angel Jewels
Angel Jewels @ Nick Ruben...did you actually READ the article...ios just had the EXACT SAME PROBLEM.... "Afterr issues were discovered with Apple devices running iOS 6.1..."
Detrick Douglas
Detrick Douglas who really is going to take time outta there day to do this? How long did it take him to figure this out lol. Pattern lock sucks anyways.
Camar Green
Camar Green iPhone has a bug also jackass
Francisco Ramirez
Francisco Ramirez None. I dare you.
Robert Wellington Clubine III
Robert Wellington Clubine III Yes but iPhone still rules.
Vince Garcia
Vince Garcia Lol some of you I phoneys are clueless!
Robin Schade
Robin Schade Nick, you can do Pin on droids too..IPhones aren't special!
Omer Tayfun
Omer Tayfun this requires to have data or wifi on before you get to the lockscreen .
Dave Bourque
Dave Bourque oh poor Samsung droidboys are gonna cry
John Resch
John Resch No lock screen because I don't leave my phone lying around..
Yan Zhenghao
Yan Zhenghao fail..
Robert Wellington Clubine III
Robert Wellington Clubine III That is why I do not like Android. iPhone rules.
Felix Tran
Felix Tran Pin number because I don't like the pattern one.
Josh Lazenby
Josh Lazenby If they try anything funny, I stab them in the eye with my p---.
Nick Chimento
Nick Chimento PIN number cause I have an iPhone! Haha
Anthony V Cannata
Anthony V Cannata No phone is perfect they all think they are but not true
Marc OKelly
Marc OKelly haha

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