The iPhone and Galaxy Note II both contain vulnerabilities that allow unauthorized users to bypass the device’s lock screen. Recent reports suggest that the Galaxy S III running Android 4.1.2 can also be added to the list of vulnerable smartphones. Similar to the earlier methods, the bug in the Galaxy S III utilizes a flaw in the “Emergency Call” button on the lock screen, however unlike the other methods it gives complete access to the phone.
The vulnerability, which was discovered by Sean McMillan on Tuesday, can be replicated by tapping the Emergency Call button, followed by the Emergency Contacts button, then the home button and quickly followed by the power button. If successful, pressing the power button one more time will bring you to the device’s home screen. Interestingly enough, the lock screen will not come back until the handset is restarted.
While the vulnerability sounds threatening, McMillan notes that it can take “quite a few attempts” to actually perform successfully.