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Hackers can remotely lock this smartphone brand

Hackers can remotely lock this smartphone brand
Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com

Your phone locks for your safety. If someone were to steal your locked phone and didn't know the password, then it'd be a useless hunk of plastic to them.

I've already discussed how valuable the ability to lock and remotely wipe your phone can be, but remote locking and wiping has left Samsung smartphones with a new, major security flaw.

A bug in Samsung's Find My Mobile app - which normally helps you find or remotely lock your phone - could let a hacker reach into your phone and remotely lock it. Worse yet, the app gives a random password to the person who locked the phone.

So that means a hacker could lock your phone and ransom the code back to you. Or, worse yet, they could just throw away the key.

Here's part of the statement released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology

The Remote Controls feature on Samsung mobile devices does not validate the source of lock-code data received over a network, which makes it easier for remote attackers to cause a denial of service (screen locking with an arbitrary code) by triggering unexpected Find My Mobile network traffic.

So hackers can lock your phone from anywhere and set any password that they want. You'd have to completely wipe your phone to get access to your gadget back.

Flaws like this are especially dangerous because the hack is easy to pull off and potentially disastrous for your data. The fact that it isn't hard means that pranksters could easily figure out how to pull this hack off and ruin your device.

There isn't an update that protects your phone automatically quite yet. All you have to do to make sure that no one remotely locks your phone is to take the following steps:

  1. Open up the "settings" app on your Samsung device
  2. Tap "accounts"
  3. Look for a Samsung account under the accounts tab
  4. If you have a Samsung account, tap it and then tap the "remove account" button
  5. Head back into settings and tap Application Manager
  6. Look for the Find My Mobile in Application Manager and uninstall the app

There you have it. Fixed! Now hackers won't be able to ruin all of your data. For more Android tips and tricks, be sure to check out my Android section.

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