Ben Squires


Android phones at risk of hacking

Android phones at risk of hacking

Do you use the lock screen feature on your android phone? Then you might be at risk of hacking.

While using a password on your phones is advisable to prevent others from accessing your phone, a security flaw in the android system leaves it vulnerable to hacking.

Researchers at Texas University in Austin discovered the flaw which allows the device to be unlocked by circumventing the lock screen with a lengthy password.

Hackers can gain access to phones by typing a large number of characters into the emergency call window of the device. They then open the phone’s camera and access the options menu that causes a password prompt to appear.

“By manipulating a sufficiently large string in the password field when the camera app is active an attacker is able to destabilise the lock screen, causing it to crash to the home screen,” researchers wrote.

“At this point arbitrary applications can be run or developer access can be enabled to gain full access to the device and expose any data contained therein.”

The problem currently affects smartphones operating on Google’s Android Lollipop 5.0 and above. It does not affect users who have a pin or pattern password, only those who use characters.

If you believe you have a vulnerable device, update your phone’s software or if it’s not available yet, switch the locking method of your phone.