Google has resolved a higher-severity security issue affecting all Pixel smartphones that could be trivially exploited to unlock the devices.
The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2022-20465 and noted by security researcher David Schütz in June 2022, was remediated as section of the lookup giant’s regular Android update for November 2022.
“The issue authorized an attacker with bodily accessibility to bypass the lock screen protections (fingerprint, PIN, and many others.) and gain complete entry to the user’s device,” Schütz, who was awarded $70,000 for the lock display screen bypass, mentioned in a compose-up of the flaw.
The dilemma, per the researcher, is rooted in the reality that lock screen protections are entirely defeated when next a certain sequence of techniques –
- Provide incorrect fingerprint three situations to disable biometric authentication on the locked device
- Warm swap the SIM card in the system with an attacker-managed SIM that has a PIN code established up
- Enter incorrect SIM pin thrice when prompted, locking the SIM card
- System prompts consumer to enter the SIM’s Individual Unlocking Important (PUK) code, a exclusive 8-digit quantity to unblock the SIM card
- Enter a new PIN code for the attacker-controlled SIM
- Machine quickly unlocks
This also indicates that all an adversary demands to unlock a Pixel phone is to deliver their possess PIN-locked SIM card and is in possession of the card’s PUK code.
“The attacker could just swap the SIM in the victim’s machine, and execute the exploit with a SIM card that experienced a PIN lock and for which the attacker realized the suitable PUK code,” Schütz mentioned.
An investigation of the supply code commits created by Google to patch the flaw demonstrates that it truly is induced by an “incorrect program point out” introduced as a final result of wrongly deciphering the SIM improve party, causing it to solely dismiss the lock display screen.
“I was not anticipating to result in this large of a code alter in Android with this bug,” Schütz concluded.
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