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Skype Bug Allows for Android Lock Screen Override

By July 8, 2013February 28th, 2023Blog

1105261_two_callsThe latest update to Skype has enabled a bug that allows users to bypass lock screens on Android devices. Currently, that amounts to 100 million devices that could be compromised.

An XDA-Developers Forum by the name of “Pulser” said he tested the attack on the latest version of Skype (which was released Monday, the 1st of July). Pulser tested the glitch on popular Android phones like the Galaxy Note 2 and the Sony Xperia Z.

Pulser indicated that it was relatively easy to bypass the screen lock on an Android phone if the phone was logged into Skype and the “attacker” was able to call the “victim” on Skype. He said that the glitch didn’t work if a regular phone call came through, however.

When the call comes through Skype to the target device, the phone will wake, ring, and display a prompt that allows the user to reject or answer the call. If the call is accepted, then the attacker (or incoming call) must end the call. This will return the phone to the lock screen, which the attacker must then turn off (tap the power button twice) and then turn back on again. Then, without a code, the home screen will be available for anyone who may be using the phone at the time. Until the device is rebooted, the security lock will not return.

So if you have an Android device, sensitive data on your phone, and Skype, it’s best to stay logged out of Skype until an official announcement has been made indicating the bug has been fixed.

Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.