passcode Stories December 15, 2016

Florida court rules that suspect must supply the passcode to unlock his smartphone

The Florida Court of Appeals has ruled that a suspect must tell police the passcode for his iPhone 5, overturning the original ruling that Fifth Amendment protections applied. This contradicts a Virginia court ruling in a separate case that a suspect can be forced to unlock a phone with their fingerprint, but cannot be forced to reveal their passcode as this would contravene the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

passcode Stories June 25, 2014

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell have demonstrated an interesting (and slightly scary) technique for using Google Glass to detect phone PINs with 83 percent accuracy from across a room – even when the screen wasn’t visible.

The technique used applies an image-recognition algorithm that doesn’t need direct sight of the screen. Instead, it uses a reference image of the target device to detect the angle at which it’s being held, then tracks the shadows from finger taps to detect which on-screen keys are being pressed …  expand full story

passcode Stories September 23, 2013

Google has just added an incredibly useful feature to its Android Device Manager service. As first noted by Android Police, you can now remotely lock your Android device with a specific password or passcode, should you misplace it or have it stolen.

Most notably, you can override any other pattern or pin set on the device. The Device Manager will simply ask to you to choose a new password when submitting the lock request, and when you find the device, you simply enter in that passcode to regain access. If the device is in Airplane mode, the service will automatically perform the lock request as soon as it’s reconnected to the internet.

With Google, Apple, and others under strong pressure from the government to improve device security, this feature is incredibly useful. Apple recently launched a new Activation Lock feature that requires an Apple ID and password to reactivate a device after it’s reset via Find My iPhone.

To try this functionality out for yourself, head to the Android Device Manager site and select the lock icon and be sure the service is already enabled on your device, as well.  expand full story

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