Virtual Event: Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit - Watch Sessions
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Malware & Threats

Android Flaw Allows Rogue Apps to Disable Passcodes

Hackers can use rogue applications to disable passcodes and other device locks on the Android (Jellybean) mobile operating system, according to a warning issued by security research outfit Curesec.

Hackers can use rogue applications to disable passcodes and other device locks on the Android (Jellybean) mobile operating system, according to a warning issued by security research outfit Curesec.

The issue, described as a permission bypass design error, effectively means that rogue Android apps can be used to disable all the security locks and leave the device vulnerable to further attacks.

Android devices can be locked and unlocked with various mechanisms — pin codes, passwords, gestures or face recognition — but because of the security vulnerability, Curesec found that code can be embedded into malicious apps to control the lock/unlock mechanism.

The company released proof-of-concept code to demonstrate the vulnerability.

From the advisory:

The bug exists on the “ class”. This class is used to allow the user to modify the type of lock mechanism the device should have. Android implements several locks, like pin, password, gesture and even face recognition to lock and unlock a device. Before a user can change these settings, the device asks the user for confirmation of the previous lock (e.x. If a user wants to change the pin or remove it it has to first enter the previous pin).

Curesec said it reported the issue to Google’s Android security team in November but noted that it currently remains unpatched.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Written By

Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. He is a security community engagement expert who has built programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and GReAT. Ryan is a founding-director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


Less than a week after announcing that it would suspended service indefinitely due to a conflict with an (at the time) unnamed security researcher...

Data Breaches

OpenAI has confirmed a ChatGPT data breach on the same day a security firm reported seeing the use of a component affected by an...


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

Risk Management

The supply chain threat is directly linked to attack surface management, but the supply chain must be known and understood before it can be...


The latest Chrome update brings patches for eight vulnerabilities, including seven reported by external researchers.


Patch Tuesday: Microsoft warns vulnerability (CVE-2023-23397) could lead to exploitation before an email is viewed in the Preview Pane.


Apple has released updates for macOS, iOS and Safari and they all include a WebKit patch for a zero-day vulnerability tracked as CVE-2023-23529.