December 8, 2022
Bypassing the Google Pixel Lock screen should not be easy for anyone, but a security researcher stumbled upon a method that Google had to fix, and quickly.Generally, vulnerabilities and exploits only affect a particular subset of devices with a common problem. As it turns out, it was possible to bypass the lock screen on Google…

Bypassing the Google Pixel Lock screen should not be easy for anyone, but a security researcher stumbled upon a method that Google had to fix, and quickly.

Generally, vulnerabilities and exploits only affect a particular subset of devices with a common problem. As it turns out, it was possible to bypass the lock screen on Google Pixel 6 devices and older by using the same method.

Security researcher David Schütz wasn’t looking for a way to bypass the lock screen but noticed weird behavior after entering the PUK security code that was required after three unsuccessful attempts to enter the PIN.

“Since the attacker could just bring his/her own PIN-locked SIM card, nothing other than physical access was required for exploitation,” said the researcher. “The attacker could just swap the SIM in the victim’s device, and perform the exploit with a SIM card that had a PIN lock and for which the attacker knew the correct PUK code.”

This attack is particularly concerning because it wouldn’t require any technical expertise to pull off. Using a second SIM card with a defined PIN was enough to bypass the lock screen and use the device.

Google quickly responded to the researcher and tracked the bug as CVE-2022-20465. The problem is that it took them a very long time to fix as the initial report was filed in July, and it seemed he wasn’t the only one to report it. Google flagged the bug as a duplicate. Eventually, Google repaired the problem, and a fix was made available in the November patch.

The researcher also published a demonstration video and warned that it might affect other Android devices, not just Pixels.

Source