Recently, a study conducted jointly by the researchers of some universities which shows that the Android unlock pattern can be hacked in just five attempts.

Android Pattern Lock Can Be Cracked Within Five Attempts

Unlock pattern, one of the security measures that validates access on Android devices; it is the preferred system for many users to protect their device, ahead of PIN codes or text passwords. The system, which consists of drawing the correct pattern on a grid with points, is used by about 40% of people.

As reported by, a study has been conducted jointly by the Lancaster University and the University of Bath in the UK, in collaboration with the University of Northwestern China shows that the Android unlock pattern can be hacked in just five attempts.

According to the results of this investigation, the safety measure is not robust: with the right tools, an attacker would only need five attempts to find out the unlock pattern reliably. To accomplish this task, all that is needed is access to video recording and software with a specific algorithm, and in a matter of seconds, the system generates a list of possible codes.

The attack is effective even when the video sequences do not capture the screen contents of smartphone or tablet in question and can be performed with the device of any size. The recording distance depends on the quality of the video, ranging from 2.5 m when recording with a mobile phone up to 9 m if a DSLR is used.

In the study, researchers used this system security to hack 120 devices, and the results show that they were able to crack the codes hence simply manage to unlock more than 95% of cases. In addition, they could also observe that patterns in principle may seem more complex because they are longer or have more line breaks, are actually simpler to find out with this algorithm because the possible positions of the fingertip are reduced.

However, the researchers recommended the best way to shield yourself from someone using a similar mechanism would be to fully cover the fingers to draw the pattern or use other systems to protect the device.


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