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Galaxy Note 2 Vulnerability Discovered, Could Lead to Potential Threat

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Good morning, fellow Galaxy Note 2 cult members. I am here today to bring you news of a newly discovered vulnerability that could spell trouble for anyone under the right set of circumstances. Allow me to explain. 

A Mr. Terence Eden discovered that if you set your lockscreen to have a pattern or code unlock, then go to the emergency dialer and press the ICE contacts (in case of emergency), then hit the home button, the phone flashes the owner’s homescreen on the display, then goes back to the lockscreen.

Now, it does only flash the homescreen for a single split second, but it is long enough for a person up to no good to launch an app or direct dial if you those shortcuts available on that homescreen. Like I mentioned, a person would need to know what they’re doing, and they would need some pretty fast fingers. Either way, it is there and it is a potential risk.

Below is a video detailing the flaw, with the Note 2 running the stock Android 4.1.2 firmware that most Note 2’s are currently running. Samsung has yet to acknowledge the issue, but once they are made aware of the problem, you can probably expect some type of fix. Until then, watch your backs.


Via: Engadget

  • Tim, I wish the headline of this post said something more to downplay how non-serious this local only possibly vulnerability really is. So many people see the headline and never read the story.

    BTW, I have the Note2 and it’s awesome!! Kellen doesn’t know what he’s missing!

  • Richard Yarrell

    This means NOTHING of any true significance.

    • squiddy20

      Yep. A security threat of any kind is “nothing of any true significance” alright. Moron.

  • callumshell1

    iPhone bug emerges that lets you call contacts
    “omg the iPhone is the worst thing ever what a toy lol”

    Note 2 develops a fault that allows brief access to the home screen
    “lol no big deal who would even do this”

  • This bug is more common than you might think. Pre-7 Windows, for example, would briefly flash the desktop on screen wake when it was locked.

  • Ibrick

    Whoa.. Whoa.. Whoa… I thought Samsung had SAFE technology now? 😉

  • Tech Pro

    Nobody lock their phones. It’s so incontinent. Unless you use your phone to connect to corporate email. This is only vulnerable for corporate users. Typical uses can safely ignore this.

  • Bigger potential threat? Giving out your wife’s phone number…

  • Ian Dunn

    I wouldn’t call this much of a security flaw. The worst thing that could happen would be running up minutes or data.

  • shehippie

    *bubble wraps her phone* There I’m safe now.

  • Bleh, now I have to remove my “Transfer all my money to the person holding the phone” shortcut.

    • FAL_Fan

      Glad to know I’m not the only one with one of those…

  • baconslayer09

    Nice ‘Ish’ folder Tim. lol

  • Bionicman

    i tried a bunch of times to open an app in my home screen like CONTACTS or MESSAGING but it was too fast and it immediately goes back to the lock screen. it does show the last home screen view that was open before being locked.

  • TheWenger

    You forgot the most important part. You have to have your phone stolen first.

    All of these “security vulnerabilities” perpetuated by sensationalist headlines (CNET) forget to mention that fact, so people think their phone is going to be hacked by some Serbian thousands of miles away.

  • PhillipCun

    Samsung keeps pushing “SAFE” to compete with BB ….. it’s not so “SAFE” LOL. Honestly it doesn’t look like a big deal, BUT this shouldn’t have slipped through the cracks. They should fix this regardless.

  • Dave

    Wow, slow news day, huh?

  • Tom Z

    No where near as bad as the apple flaw.

  • I disabled the lockscreen. No problems then, right?

  • I had that happen on my GS3, one time.
    But it`s not enough time to lunch an app.

    • FAL_Fan

      It is enough time to launch a widget though, I got my Tesla LED flashlight widget to turn the light on.

  • JoshGroff

    Note 2 just dropped to 199 at Best Buy, considering returning MAXX HD for it, worth it?

    • That’s the best price I’ve seen it there, other than when they were price matching Sam’s Club for $98.88.

    • Brent Cooper

      Definitely worth it!

      • JoshGroff

        Seems so, really couldn’t think of a reason not to.

        • Brent Cooper

          The battery is as good as, if not better than my razr maxx. It is the best phone I have ever had. Let us know if you get it and how you like it of you do

          • JoshGroff

            Picked it up after work, haven’t put it down since. (Except to drive)

    • Austin Warren

      S4 will be out soon. Wait.

    • TheRealBeesley

      Best phone I’ve ever owned.. And I’ve had about 10.

    • YankInDaSouth

      Absolutely! I had the Maxx HD too and this device is far superior!Feature wise, performance wise the Note 2 wins. Also, battery life is pretty darn close. Maxx HD wins, of course, but the Note 2 will definitely get you through the day. Call quality, IMHO, is the same as on my Maxx HD. And the s pen is awesome lol
      All in all this is by far the best phone I have owned.

      • Richard Yarrell

        Definitely the Galaxy Note 2 is the BEST ultimate all purpose productivity device ever made since the inception of android period. Nothing on the market today can come close to competing. Matter of fact it’s on a total level of it’s own. No Lg Optimus G pro can touch this. Only thing that will ever touch the Galaxy Note 2 will be the upcoming Galaxy Note 3.

  • FAL_Fan

    It’s just like apples peep mode on the iPhone…great, now something else that they can accuse Samsung of copying…

  • I am confused as to why someone concerned bout a local security flaw flashed someone’s phone number in a video on YouTube which is far more damaging.

    • Joey

      The youtube poster answers this by stating that the number is his home number and there is no phone attached to the land line so feel free to ring it as much as you’d like he says.

  • storm35x

    luckily my verizon note 2 is still running 4.1.1

  • Mike

    How pedantic are some people? My OG Droid did this too and I couldn’t care less….

    • cheerio

      I am excited to see you’re not the among the idiots and used the proper verbatim and said “couldn’t care less” rather than “could care less”

      • JoshGroff

        Verbatim =/= verbiage.

  • Raidy

    I’ve tried a number of times to actually get an app to launch on my Note II with this, and it doesnt seem possible. I can even see the app highlight on press, but it doesnt actually bring it up.

    • FAL_Fan

      I got my Tesla LED widget to turn on…but that was it.

  • Liquidretro

    This is a vulnerability and it will get fixed. More importantly expect Verizon to use this as a way to patch an exploit that we are currently using to Root and Rom our phones.

  • Time to remove those 1-900 direct dial shortcuts from my home screen…

  • fartbubbler

    I’ve already found a fix for this.

    Either have the phone:

    A) in your pocket


    B) in your hand.

    • JoshGroff

      That’s always the best security measure.

    • New_Guy

      Hahaa! Exactly. Even if someone stole the phone, doing this all day is pointless…

    • michael arazan

      This is the european model given you hear the european tone when dialed, so is this exploit for all versions world wide, or just gsm, 3g, and/or lte models be affected since it has different software in some models for certain areas or are all Note 2’s vulnerable?

  • I would hardly call that small lag a “vulnerability”…

    • Nicholassss

      Yeah, I tried this and sure the homescreen pops up but I cant do anything with it. Its weird but not a vulnerability.

      • FAL_Fan

        Tesla LED flashlight widget turns on.

  • Thomas

    Well ain’t this a bitch 🙁