Smartphones of today have become a central repository of information that is why stringent security measures are a part of a handset’s feature set. Passwords, patterns, Face Unlock, you name it – each and every one of these are being employed to ensure that whatever is private remains private. But did you know that there is a way to bypass the security lock on a handset? This was proven by researchers from the University of Erlangen in Germany who managed to get around the security lock of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus by subjecting it to extremely low temperatures.
These researchers used a Samsung Galaxy Nexus for the experiment which was then cooled down to minus 15 degrees Celsius. After the handset was subjected to such extreme temperature, it was quickly restarted thereby giving the researchers the opportunity to bypass its passcode and gain access to all the data stored in the handset.
According to the researchers, subjecting the Samsung Galaxy Nexus to such extremely low temperatures forces the handset to take a much longer time in deleting its memory. Because of this, the data stays in the memory of the handset longer and quickly restarting it while it is still freezing and with all its data still in its memory enables to run the handset in “fastboot” thereby bypassing its security measures.
Regardless of this security loophole (not sure though if this can be called a loophole – I’m not seeing a lot of people freezing handsets to minus 15 degrees Celsius to gain access to stored data), the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is still one of the best Android-powered handsets to get released in the market. In fact, the handset was used as the platform to showcase the wares Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich brought to the table when it was unveiled a couple of years back.
This made the Samsung Galaxy Nexus one of the more popular devices during its heydays because for the longest time, it was the only handset running ICS for its operating system. The handset reached official status when it was unveiled back in October of 2011 and it promptly hit the shelves a month later in November.
As of the moment, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is already running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the latest iteration of the Google mobile operating system. Under the hood, the operation of the handset is powered by its Texas Instruments OMAP4460 chipset while the computing power required by the handset for its flawless performance is delivered by its dual-core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor and full gigabyte of RAM. A user’s storage needs on the other hand is taken care of by the handset’s 32GB of onboard storage while its display is a 4.65-inch SuperAMOLED panel with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The camera department of the handset however is its major pain point because it is a bit mediocre for a Google flagship device. After all, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus only has a 5MP shooter at its back panel and a 1.3MP video call and self-portrait snapper in its front bezel.