At the beginning of the week a security bug was uncovered in the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (opens in new tab), allowing users to bypass the lock screen and access applications beyond, leaving sensitive data on the device at risk.
We suspected the flaw lay in the Android 4.1.2 OS being run by most Galaxy Note 2s, but with the same problem now being discovered in the Samsung Galaxy S3, the issue appears to lie within Samsung’s own software overlay.
The latest lock screen bypass was first reported on Seclists.org (opens in new tab), with Sean McMillan explaining how entering the emergency calls section, pressing the home key, and swiftly pressing the power button brings you straight to the home screen if executed correctly.
The bypass has been successfully tested on a number of S3 devices and mimics the Galaxy Note 2 flaw very closely, where entering the emergency call section and a quick button sequence also broke through the lock screen.
Mobile blogger Terence Eden, who demonstrated (opens in new tab) the Galaxy Note bug but had no reply from Samsung when he informed them of the problem, says, “Samsung have a really poor record on Android security. Avoid purchasing their phones at all costs.”
The Galaxy S3 discovery is sure to prompt the Korean manufacturer into delivering a fix soon, just as Apple was forced to do after a similar flaw was found on the iOS 6.1 (opens in new tab) lock screen in February. With anticipation mounting ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch (opens in new tab) in a week’s time, the firm will be keen to extinguish any negative publicity concerning its popular handset line.