Home News Your Android Unlock Pattern Can be Stolen by Hackers

Your Android Unlock Pattern Can be Stolen by Hackers

Sep 9, 2018

Some unsettling news coming out today that shows your Android unlock pattern can be stolen from you by hackers. The hackers are able to steal your unlock pattern by turning your Android device into a sonar-like system. This is definitely bad news for people on Android since most people believe the unlock pattern is the safest method for keeping their device safe. Read on to learn more devices about how hackers are able to do this and what it means for your security.

Hackers Can Steal Your Android Lock Pattern Pretty Easily

By turning your Android device into a sonar system, hackers are pretty easily able to hack your Android unlock pattern. This news is coming out of UK and Sweden where researchers were looking into this issue. The hackers simply use the microphones and speakers in order to pick up the movements that occur.

In order for this to work, your fingers have to be moving on the Android screen. From there, the hackers are able to determine some of the possible patterns used to unlock the device. SonarSnoop is the technical name for this technique, and you probably are going to hear a lot about this in the future.

The researchers noted that FingerIO is the primary inspiration for this technique. If you have not heard about FingerIO before, it is an interaction model for smartwatches that was published way back in 2016. It talks about using a sonar-like ability in order to pick up your hand gestures, and then translate them into various actions on a screen. SonarSnoop is like the more nefarious version of the FingerIO ability, but we are not sure if you should be freaking out just yet though.

Unlock Pattern Able to Be Hacked Using This SonarSnoop Method

The most interesting part about the Android unlock pattern hack is that it can end up eliminating more than 70 percent of possible unlock patterns. This is able to happen due to all of the algorithms from machine learning that are built right into the attack itself. One good thing here is that it would be very difficult to pull off this type of hack these days. It might have been more possible several years ago, but it does not seem very likely or realistic that it would work in present time.

Even though it is not quite as likely to happen now, you still should be leery when it comes to the Android unlock pattern. You should not just be using the unlock pattern to protect your Android device. Fingerprint sensors are really the most secure way to keep your device safe these days. If you have purchased a new Android phone within the past couple years, then you know how common fingerprint sensors are now.

They are definitely a lot safer than the old Android unlock patterns or passcodes from back in the day. Speaking of passcodes, as long as you set a very strong passcode, you are much safer with that than using the unlock pattern. A lot of people use the unlock pattern since it is more convenient, but it is likely the least safe option to use. The only bad part about a strong passcode for many people is that they feel like they will forget it.

Security Patches Help Prevent Android Unlock Pattern Hacks

When it comes to how you can protect yourself, you should always download the latest security patches for your device. These security patches can help protect you against the unlock pattern hack and many other hacks that are out there these days. Only downloading apps from well-known sources is another way to protect yourself. This is especially important if your Android device does not have the fingerprint sensor built into it for that added layer of protection.

In the comments below, we want to hear what you think about the unlock pattern hack ability. Do you think that a method like this is able to be pulled off in this day and age? Are you worried that your Android device is just always vulnerable regardless of what you do? What layers of protection do you use on your Android device? Tell us below how you think Android could better be protected from hackers and attacks like SonarSnoop.