A Bug in Android App Lock That Saved Me

I have a wonderful program that I use to secure certain applications on my Android phone from prying eyes. It is called App Lock. It is a simple screen that comes up prompting for a passcode when trying to access certain applications. I like this for the simple fact that I can secure some programs without locking down the whole phone.

App Lock Screenshot

Up until this morning the App Lock app had worked without any problems. But today I turned on the Accessibility features of my Android phone to play with a new keyboard. When the Accessibility screen comes on it puts a layer over the bottom half of the screen which lets you navigate the device with gestures. In doing so, when I tried to go back to the settings in my phone to turn off the Accessibility option, I could no longer press the numbers on the number pad. For some reason the passcode screen would not move up from behind the gesture screen to allow me to put in the numbers.

I thought that I was locked out of my phone and would have to somehow wipe the system and start over. That was not a prospect I was looking forward to.

In my research to find a solution I came across a security flaw in the App Lock software. This is a serious flaw and I assume that the App Lock guys will work to fix the problem. Until then, maybe this will help someone else get control of their device again. I realize that bad people could get this information and use it to exploit someone’s phone. I regret that the possibility exists, but I am personally thrilled that this security bug saved me from having to rebuild my phone setup from scratch.

Here are the steps that I was able to take to get control of the device again:

  • Turn on App Lock and press Protection list
  • Press the Home button on your phone
  • Turn App Lock back on again
  • Press FAQ
  • Press the back button

This will reveal your list of applications that are blocked and give you a chance to turn the block off. For me that meant that I could remove the block from my Settings menu and make the changes I needed to make. For others this means that their information isn’t as well protected as they would hope.

Obviously the makers of the App Lock software may fix the problem by the time you read this. That is a good thing…unless you are locked out of something because of turning on the Accessibility feature on your Android phone.

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