Galaxy Note II ‘hack’ briefly exposes homescreen and apps

March 4, 2013
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A recently discovered security flaw shows how you can gain brief access to the homescreen of a Samsung Galaxy Note II running Android 4.1.2. This flaw can be used regardless of which method you are using to secure your handset. That is to say it will work against the pattern locks, PIN locks and even Face Unlock. But while that may sound on the scary side, we will also point out that this flaw has limited use.

Depending on what you have on your homescreen, this could mean anything from having someone see your apps or possibly make a call. The catch is, the person using this method has to be quick. Lets begin with this, this flaw can be taken advantage of by activating the screen and pressing the emergency call option. From here you press the ICE button and then hold down the home button for a few seconds.

From this point your home screen will flash and show what is there. The key here, assuming you have quick enough fingers, you can possibly launch an app. This comes with some good and some bad. Any regular app will almost instantly disappear into the background as the lock screen returns. On the flip side, you could potentially make a call. The call would depend on whether or not the person has a direct dial widget set up. Basically, in most cases this flaw will result in the person seeing which apps you have on your homescreen and possibly making a prank call.

This could also reveal some information though, say in the case of you having a widget with your email or calendar. While we are not sure that everyone should be worried about this, there are a few things to consider. First, if you are worried you can avoid having any direct dial widgets, or widgets with sensitive information on your homescreen.

Anyway, this flaw was discovered by Terence Eden who has said that Samsung has been notified and so far he has yet to receive any response in return. Eden goes a step further noting that Samsung has a really poor record on Android security and that you should "avoid purchasing their phones at all costs." We think that recommendation is a bit harsh, but still, if you are rocking a Samsung device, you may want to keep it close in hand.

[via Engadget]


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  • OT

    Waste of time. It is not a security flaw loasersss.

    • Alan

      We’ll is a flaw if someone steals your phone and uses this to open your contacts or email via those icons on your front screen. Although when I tried this on my note 2 I couldn’t even recognize the icons as it flashed up really fast, probably not staying on the screen for even 1/10th of a second.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Foosa-Noble/100001939436588 Foosa Noble

    Who comes up with this crap? Seriously who has the time to figure this crap out?
    I want their job…..

  • José Olivo

    I really don’t care about this being that I always have my device with me and If I do lose it well I have lookout mobile security and Cerberus in order to find my device there making a big deal out of nothing. Like if other handsets are more secure than Samsung Being that I have the 2 best apps to find my device I have nothing to worry about its those that don’t have these app that should be worried. . .

  • Fester

    Didn’t the iphone have a similar security flaw with ios6?