Recently, it was discovered that Samsung Galaxy Note 2’s lock screen can be bypassed using a hacking technique. This hacking technique was feasible on Android version 4.1.2. It enables a person to see the home screen briefly when the home button is pressed for a few seconds. Upon seeing the home screen, the attacker can quickly tap an app. Then, he may be able to do any of the following:
- direct-dial or make a phone call
- view emails or calendars
- play a music
- interact with a server
- record from the microphone
In the blog of a mobile enthusiast named Terence Eden you will be able to see how this hacking technique works on Samsung Galaxy Note 2. He disclosed this information as he believes that this hacking technique has its own limitation. First, the attacker can only make a phone call if the owner of the phone has a direct-dial widget on the home screen. Second, apps on the home screen may be tapped but it will be instantly directed into the background. So technically, the attacker will not be able to run apps on the smartphone. The mobile enthusiast blogger also added that with the use of an external video camera, the attacker will be able to view the contents of the calendar as well as e-mails if their widgets have been enabled.
Apple also encountered this security bypass issue last month. They have experienced a more serious problem as the attacker can bypass the security code enabling him to see and make changes in the contacts. Moreover, he will be able to access the photos and voicemail on the phone. Lastly, the attacker can make a phone call since he can already manipulate the contacts.
According to the security researcher of ESET named Cameron Camp, the hacking issues on both Apple and Android are not a big threat to the users. The actual issue that gives a threat to the Android users is the delayed dissemination of security update coming from Google. This gives enough time for the hackers to do their dirty deeds. On the other hand, Apple has the capability to give out security updates to iPhone users since they are the sole builder of their products.