EntertainmentGames & Technology

Android bug allows phone lock screen to be easily unlocked

A flaw has been discovered in Android's Lollipop OS system
A flaw has been discovered in Android's Lollipop OS system

A flaw in Android's Lollipop operating system has been discovered that could mean your phone can be easily broken into.

The bug only affects users who are running the Lollipop system and users that have their screens password protected. Phones that are protected by a pin or pattern to unlock are not affected.

To break in, all anyone in possession of the phone has to do is overload the password field so that it crashes, and the phone then opens up on the home screen, leaving it free for use.

The Guardian quotes John Gordon from Texas University who discovered the flaw: “By manipulating a sufficiently large string in the password field when the camera app is active an attacker is able to destabilise the lockscreen, causing it to crash to the home screen.” 

Google issued the patch for Nexus devices today but 20 per cent of the Android devices in the world use the Lollipop system and it is not yet clear if the flaw is one that affects other devices made by the likes of Samsung or LG.

A quick fix would be to change your lockscreen to the pin or patten unlock system but it will be up to other manufacturers to issue security patches for other phones.