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Uh oh! Security flaw allows users to bypass Galaxy Note 2 lock screen

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Uh oh. As if Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Note 2 is having some problems. PC Mag reports that the manufacturer is facing a bit of a scandal. Apparently, a flaw in the Galaxy Note 2 programming is making it possible for some users to run apps and dial phone numbers … even when the device is locked.

The flaw was first written about by Terence Eden, a blogger that describes himself as a mobile enthusiast.

Eden provided step-by-step instructions on how exactly to bypass the lock screen:

  • Lock the device with a “secure” pattern, PIN, or password.
  • Activate the screen.
  • Press “Emergency Call”.
  • Press the “ICE” button on the bottom left.
  • Hold down the physical home key for a few seconds and then release.
  • The phone’s home screen will be displayed – briefly.
  • While the home screen is displayed, click on an app or a widget.
  • The app or widget will launch.
  • If the widget is “direct dial” the phone will start ringing.

As Eden notes, even though it’s possible to launch apps, once they’re launched, the phone will return to the lock screen, so, without the password, no one would actually be able to use them. However, a phone call can be made if there is a direct dial on the home screen, and it will follow through.

While this isn’t a tremendously significant flaw, it is a flaw nonetheless. Eden points out that potential hackers could see the widgets a user has on their home screen and, if that screen has e-mail or calendar widgets, they could be accessed. Not to mention, if there are any apps that automatically charge your account upon launch, it could cost you if your phone ends up in the wrong hands.

At press time, Samsung still had not issues a response to this flaw, so we’re unsure as to whether or not a potential update may be released to help fix this. But even if that could work, considering it has been four months since the copy/paste bug was reported, with no sign of a fix in sight, it isn’t likely to happen for a while.

Until then, do your best to keep your device out of unwanted hands.