Samsung Galaxy S III inflicted with lockscreen security vulnerability

Several Samsung Galaxy S III handsets have been found to have a security vulnerability that allows anyone full access to any device, even if a lockscreen is in place. 

First noticed by Sean McMillian on the Full Disclosure mailing list, the bug is similar to one found on the Galaxy Note II earlier this year. It can be replicated by following a few simple steps, and a user can have full access within a minute. 

First, on the code entry screen, press emergency call, followed by pressing the emergency contacts, and the home button once. Then just after pressing the home button, press the power button quickly. If successful, pressing the power button again will bring you to the S3's home screen. It can be tricky at first.

ZDnet further confirmed the bug on an S3 running Android 4.1.2, though once the bypass has been performed, the publication noted that that software won't keep asking for a pin until the handset is rebooted. 

Of course, the fear is that if a user's handset is stolen there is the potential all of their personal information will be sorted through.  

This isn't the first time a bug like this has appeared on a smartphone. Last month, iOS 6.1 users noticed that the lock screen could be bypassed on an iPhone by similar emergency call trickery. Similar has happened on other Android handsets before, as well.

Samsung hasn't provided official word on the matter, though we've contacted the company in the hope of learning more.



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