Software Bug In Samsung GALAXY S3 Allows Unauthorised Access To Data

It works even through the lockscreen, compromising user's personal data.


A new bug that is haunting the GALAXY S III, according to TheVerge seems to have put Samsung's Android devices back on the security radar. The report mentions that a user, Sean McMillan, has discovered a security hole in the device, which grants access to not just personal data, but to the entire phone's functionality. This seems to happen even with the lockscreen in place. The Korean electronics giant, which is already facing the heat on a bricking issue involving its Android devices involving simple copy-paste tasks, is yet to address either of the issues officially yet.

From the looks of it, this is a software-related bug. Many Samsung smartphones that run the Exynos chipset, are open to vulnerabilities stemming from the hardware itself, causing an uproar some months ago.

On his part though, the process has been documented by Sean, with steps to reproduce the software bug. He states, once you are on the code entry screen, press Emergency Call, then Emergency Contacts, and then press Home button once quickly followed by the power button to unlock the handset. This may require a few attempts, as timing it right is the key. Sean seems to have confirmed this on three SGS3s, including his own running Android 4.1.2.

We tried to recreate this on our SGS3 with the same Android version but only managed to get a momentary glimpse of the home screen, without actually getting any access to the phone's function or data. We are not sure if the SGS3 is the only Android handset that is affected, although preliminary details suggest so. You can also give it a try and let us know if it works with you.

TAGS: Mobile Phones, Android, Samsung, GALAXY