May you not encounter this Android error when you unlock your phone with a PIN code

May you not encounter this Android error when you unlock your phone with a PIN code

A new vulnerability discovered in Android 9 Pie and Android 10 affects more and more users. So far, problems have been reported by owners of smartphones from Google, Sony and OnePlus.


The bug has to do with locking the screen with a PIN code. Initially, only users of Pixel smartphones reported the problem. Some would be tempted to put it down to Google always having issues with their devices, so it's something device owners can almost get used to. However, the same error also appeared on the Xperia XZ2 Compact and OnePlus 7 Pro.

What's the matter?

If our primary method of unlocking a smartphone is a PIN code, and not using a fingerprint reader or pattern, it may happen that after entering the code, the screen turns off and we lose the ability to go to the home screen of the device. The whole process can loop. It looks something like this:


May you not encounter this Android error when you unlock phone with PIN

Interestingly, this rather rare bug is now three months old. To date, it has even been possible to identify its source. It's about a problem with the "Synthetic Password Key" (SPK), which verifies the correspondence of the password entered on the touch panel with the one stored in the device's memory. When this element cannot access its decryption key, it returns a "null" result, causing the system to crash and reset to the boot screen before entering the code.

This very specific sequence of events can only be reproduced by some users, so not everyone who uses a PIN code as a security method has to be afraid of it. In addition, Google is already working on releasing an update that would patch this vulnerability.

However, until Google publishes an appropriate fix, we would recommend at least temporarily changing the way you unlock your phone to any other method - entering the full password, drawing a pattern, facial recognition or using the fingerprint reader.

In this case, it's better to prevent than to wonder if we can swallow a factory reset and say goodbye to the collected data that we didn't back up. It is true that some people somehow manage to avoid it and unlock the smartphone, but the video below shows that it is an ordeal.

source: Android Police

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