Author Topic: Cell Phone question  (Read 1805 times)

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Offline seamas

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Cell Phone question
« on: April 01, 2019, 04:12:51 PM »
My daughter either forgot or accidentally changed her passcode (swipe) on her cell phone. (and LG Android)

I have searched around for solutions, most say we'd have to restore factory settings and lose data, or try one's hand at what looks like a dubious software solution.

It seems a bit odd to me that there is no easier solution unless I am missing something. Am I?

(there is no "forgot password" button after swiping incorrectly)

Offline Rai

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2019, 04:25:48 PM »
I could not find any solution either apart feom erasing the phone, which does feel excessive.

I suppose she tried just stopping to try for a while and doing something else. For me, these things tend to come back if I stop thinking about them.

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2019, 07:44:15 PM »
There's a perfectly valid security reason for not allowing some alternative method to log into your phone.  If you can do it, someone else can do it, and that violates good security practices.

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Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2019, 07:51:50 PM »
I found this article from 2018 listing a few ways to go about it.  Not sure if any of them will work in your situation, but it might be worth a shot.  Better than losing everything. You could also try contacting your service provider and/or LG support.  They may have ways to unlock it providing you can prove your identity.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 07:53:51 PM by Eternally Learning »

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2019, 08:24:21 PM »
It might be better to let her lose everything. She might be more careful in the future.

It worked for me.
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2019, 03:06:50 PM »
The whole point of a passcode lock is to make access to the phone impossible without the passcode. Why on earth would there be a way to bypass it?
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2019, 04:45:22 PM »
The whole point of a passcode lock is to make access to the phone impossible without the passcode. Why on earth would there be a way to bypass it?

Because of all the people who will inevitably forget their passcode. ;D
Daniel
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2019, 07:41:25 PM »
The whole point of a passcode lock is to make access to the phone impossible without the passcode. Why on earth would there be a way to bypass it?

Because of all the people who will inevitably forget their passcode. ;D

If they can't be trusted to remember it, let them find a secure way to store it elsewhere.  Or even write it down on a sticky note; at least they'd be sacrificing only their own security and privacy, not everyone's,
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2019, 10:52:02 PM »
I was thinking about this today and trying to draw a parallel with something of physical value that you'd want to keep safe.  Almost nothing of physical value, that can be locked away and then accessed easily and regularly by the owner is ever truly lost when whatever access key is lost.  Most protective devices usually are just good for delaying an attack long enough to make it completely impractical for all but the most determined and knowledgeable to illegally break in.  I think this is true for bike locks, small safes for home use, padlocks, and so on.  If you own the protected item(s), it's usually just a matter of time, effort (skill obviously being a factor too), and money to get into anything because even if you can't overcome the locking mechanism, you can overcome some other aspect of the device to get in.  You might not be able to guess a combination lock, but you can cut the shackle or break whatever the shackle is attached to.  To truly make a physical item irretrievable without the security key, you'd need to create some sort of booby trap to destroy it before someone can break in like the Codex in The DaVinci Code. 

With phones, it's a different game since someone can try and break in without even being in the same zip code as the device, but many of the same principles of recovery hold true.  If something is important enough to secure, chances are that it's important enough that you wouldn't want to risk losing it forever due to carelessness.  At the same time, any tool available for recovery without the passcode is now potentially a tool for a thief to take it without the passcode as well.  It'd be like a safe company creating a master combination that works on every lock so that if you forget yours, they can unlock it for you; not hard to imagine that code getting leaked and thereby compromising every single product they sell.  Is there a digital analog for cutting a safe open with a jackhammer; something that cannot be done under normal attempts to steal?

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2019, 08:49:04 AM »
There really isn't.  If you listen to any reputable cryptologist they will tell you that any hole you put in it is a hole that a bad guy can use.

The method right now to get past the passcode is a brute force attack on the phone, you theoretically could get into it by just guessing passcodes until you hit the right one.

You can get a good estimation of how long it will take here:

https://www.grc.com/haystack.htm
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2019, 10:28:05 AM »
The whole point of a passcode lock is to make access to the phone impossible without the passcode. Why on earth would there be a way to bypass it?

Because of all the people who will inevitably forget their passcode. ;D

If they can't be trusted to remember it, let them find a secure way to store it elsewhere.  Or even write it down on a sticky note; at least they'd be sacrificing only their own security and privacy, not everyone's,

That's what I do. But companies have to provide what consumers want, or they'll lose market share. And consumers are people. And people are dumb. Maybe phone companies should offer two versions of their phones: One version that if you lose your pass code, the phone is a brick and you have to throw it away, and another version that is recoverable by some method that is reasonably secure.

One reason I think cryptocurrency is impractical is that if you lose your key, you've lost your money. If I lose my bank password I can visit the bank, establish my identity, and regain access to my money. Someone who can convince the bank they're me can rob me. But then there are other safeguards.

There are always trade-offs.
Daniel
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2019, 11:31:45 AM »
Maybe phone companies should offer two versions of their phones: One version that if you lose your pass code, the phone is a brick and you have to throw it away, and another version that is recoverable by some method that is reasonably secure.

The phone will not be a brick.  You just have to restore it and lose the data that is on it.  That is literally the only way to ensure that only you can have access to the data on your phone.

That said, you can and should have your data backed up so that if that happens you can always restore it.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Captain Video

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2019, 11:33:43 AM »
And use last pass or similar from now on.
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Offline seamas

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2019, 02:40:45 PM »
The whole point of a passcode lock is to make access to the phone impossible without the passcode. Why on earth would there be a way to bypass it?

Sure, but Forget your bank or credit card health plan password and you can get a new one by means of verification. I would think that a service provider would be able to do the same.

Offline Captain Video

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Re: Cell Phone question
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2019, 03:12:05 PM »
The whole point of a passcode lock is to make access to the phone impossible without the passcode. Why on earth would there be a way to bypass it?

Sure, but Forget your bank or credit card health plan password and you can get a new one by means of verification. I would think that a service provider would be able to do the same.

I don't trust apple nor any of the droid companies to have my personal unlock code.  Last Pass has a business model ready to handle this, I don't think they can see any of my codes/passwords other than the master. I could see a phone company doing the same but they haven't yet as far as I know.
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