The Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smartphones are susceptible to a security flaw that lets a hacker past the lock screen, though only for a second.
As demonstrated on video, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 allows a malicious users to see what’s on the home screen. This flaw also allows the user to launch an app or tap on a direct dial shortcut.
Apps will only launch for a second before being pushed to the background, but when a direct dial is pushed, the malicious individual can complete a call and view a contact’s phone number.
The video shows the exploit on a Samsung Galaxy Note 2, but according to PhoneArena, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is also vulnerable.
By pressing the Emergency Call button, selecting ICE contacts and then holding the home button, someone could quickly see the Galaxy Note 2 or Galaxy S3 home screen. The process worked once on a Galaxy S3 in our possession, but was not reliable.
The security flaw comes as Samsung is making a major play to get the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 and the upcoming Galaxy S4 into the hands of workers with the SAFE program and with the upcoming Knox tool that allows users to switch between work and personal with a tap on an app.
While this is a small security flaw, it could still raise flags at companies who are interested in using the Samsung Galaxy smartphones instead of the iPhone or BlackBerry devices.
Samsung is not alone, as the iPhone running iOS 6.1.2 is susceptible to a bug that allows users past the lock screen. The iPhone lock screen bug is similar in that it uses the emergency call screen and it does not allow full access to the iPhone. Apple is preparing iOS 6.1.3, an update to fix the lock screen issue and other bugs.
Samsung has yet to respond to Terence Eden, the security researcher who discovered the Samsung Galaxy lock screen security issue.