Sony Xperia Z lockscreen bug allows full access to the phone

If you're a top smartphone manufacturer and are shopping for features to be included in your next high-end phone, here’s a tip: don’t ship it with a buggy lockscreen. After recent instances of the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 being intruded on despite a passcode or a security pin, it’s now the turn of Sony’s Xperia Z.

Apparently, the Xperia Z’s lockscreen is so broken that it gives anyone access to anything they want to explore on the phone, except for resetting the passcode, pin or unlock pattern. In fact, this lockscreen bypass is one of the easiest we have seen, as is evident in a video posted by YouTube user Scott Reed.

If you want to reproduce the bug, all you have to do is feed in the USSD code *#*#7378423#*#* on the phone’s emergency dialer. That USSD serves to open up a various services menu that lets you view the status of the various sensors in the phone. Find the NFC setting and trigger a NFC diagnostic test. After the test is done, just hit the home button from the on-screen navigation bar and you'll be taken straight to the homescreen without any passcode required.

We're guessing this is a bug left over from the development table as it makes it easier to test the various sensors. In any case, that’s a major security flaw and potentially allows anyone to access apps, write on the memory card or see your personal information.

Sony has been rather quick with bug fixes for the Xperia Z. The company yesterday issued the first firmware update for the phone, which fixed a ‘sudden-death’ issue that plagued some devices. Let’s hope that this one is fixed in a jiffy too. Despite the lockscreen flaw, the Xperia Z remains a formidable Android smartphone with some eye-catching features. Firstly, the handset is water and dust-proof and comes in a 7.9mm-thin body. It is powered by the ultra-fast Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC, which has four Krait cores clocked at 1.5GHz besides an Adreno 320 GPU.


Here’s a look at the key specs of the Xperia Z:

  • 5-inch TFT LCD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, 441 PPI
  • LTE, Cat3, up to 100 Mbps DL, HSPA+, GPRS/EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • NFC
  • 13-megapixel camera with HDR video recording, Sony 3D Sweep Panorama; 2-megapixel front-facing camera with 1080p video
  • 16GB internal storage with microSD card slot

The Xperia Z has a non-removable 2330 mAh battery. Sony’s proprietary Stamina Mode technology should help increase the battery life by throttling data-hogging apps when in standby mode.

Published Date: Mar 26, 2013 05:13 pm | Updated Date: Mar 26, 2013 05:13 pm