Lock Screen Bypass: Add Samsung Galaxy S3 To The List


A new lock screen bypass has emerged, this time on Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphones.

The technique to bypass the lock screen to gain access to the Galaxy S3 home screen was shared on the Full Disclosure Mailing list. In the post, the individual said the bypass gains access to the smartphone's full features.

Sean McMillan, who posted the bypass, said the hacking technique is not easy and could take a few attempts to work. "Sometimes this method works straight away, other times it can take more than 20 attempts," McMillan wrote.

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The technique involves making a sequence of steps, pressing the emergency call feature and then pressing the home button and power button quickly. If successful, pressing the power button gains access to the home screen, he wrote. The process was reportedly successfully replicated on a Galaxy S3 running Android 4.1.1 and 4.1.2.

The bypass gives the device holder complete access to the files and functions on the Galaxy S3.

Successful bypass of a smartphone lock screen has been demonstrated on a variety of devices in the past. Earlier this week, a similar Android lock screen bypass for the Galaxy Note 2 was revealed in a video by Terence Eden, based in the U.K.

The bypass demonstrated by Eden was slightly easier to pull off, but it also carried more restrictions. Getting past the lock screen granted the individual access to the home screen for a second or two. That's enough time, according to Eden, to make a phone call, record from the microphone, play music or view calendar and email messages if a widget displays them on the home screen. Apps opened up upon successfully bypassing the Galaxy Note 2 lock screen immediately went to the background, Eden said.

Security experts call the lock screen bypass a fairly low-level attack. A video surfaced last month demonstrating a similar lock screen bypass on an Apple iPhone. Apple quickly issued a fix, pushing out a 6.1.2 security update for iOS. A similar glitch was discovered in 2010 on iOS 4.1 impacting iPhone 3, 3GS and 4 devices.

PUBLISHED MARCH 7, 2013