Pattern Unlock is not that Secure as you Thought

I know quite a number of you have already migrated to fingerprint unlocking of smartphones after every other Android OEMs now has a fingerprint scanner.
But pattern unlock is probably the most popular way of securing your phone. Research has it that it’s not the best, and humans have this tendency of being able to redo your pattern after seeing it once from a close distance.
This is made easier when your pattern unlock also has visible trails when inputting pattern.

A joint study published by researchers at the US Naval Academy and the University of Maryland Baltimore County offers further proof that using a unlock pattern is an incredibly dumb way to secure a mobile device.

The reason is fairly obvious; human brains are specifically wired to recognize and recall patterns. In fact, our proclivity for patterns is one of the neat things that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. It is inherent to our unique intelligence. Accordingly, a secret passphrase should not be something a stranger on a train can memorize after seeing you input it once from six seats away.

According to study, 1,173 subjects took part in the tests. Each was exposed to controlled videos depicting people unlocking their phones from a variety of angles. They were then asked to try and guess PINs and unlock patterns. After two viewings, around 80 percent of the subjects could reproduce the pattern; 64 percent could do it after one viewing. Even after watching someone enter a six-digit PIN twice, only 27 percent of the subjects could reproduce it correctly.


I have known and used this for quite some time now. When I can’t see what pattern you’ve used I pull out my own special lock pick so to speak. I have an even easier method for “hacking” people’s patterns. I use the knowledge that every time you trace a pattern on a glass surface no matter what kind of coating it has, it will leave a visible mark. I call this my mwakenya. If you refuse to unlock your phone for me all I do is make sure you have unlocked it at least once before putting it in your pocket (pocketing erases the trail). Now I pretend to just want to see the build quality or physical features of your phone. Once I place the phone with a light source reflecting on the glass while pretending to be casually looking at your phone, I can immediately know if I can get into your phone because I will see if there is a visible smudge trail and almost 90% of the time there is. Zubaa kidogo and I’ll be inside your phone doing whatever.

The only sure way to keep your phone safe from people like me is to use app lock and protect sensitive apps so that even if someone gets past your lock screen, they can’t access sensitive information.

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Supreme Court… prepare your lawyers.

I have always used PINs even when I am using a phone without biometric security. I find PINs to be easier and safer. Patterns smudge the screen.

I have always know this.I think knock code is safer even though its practically a pattern.

I stopped using PIN and pattern, I now use passwords and mine are usually in Kenyan Greek.


Isn’t that limited to LG, which I’ve not had discussing after LG G4?

I will try this hack and see how it goes.

Keep us updated. haha.