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Hardware Hacking Android Open Source Security Build

Unlock Your Android Phone With Open Source Wearable NFC 81

Posted by timothy
from the now-attach-it-to-your-gun dept.
coop0030 (263345) writes "Becky Stern at Adafruit has created a guide on how to create an open source NFC ring or other wearable to mod and unlock your Android phone. From the tutorial: 'Unlock your phone by just picking it up! No more pesky password or gesture PIN, just scan an NFC tag! This guide covers creating an NFC ring, putting an NFC tag in your nail polish, modding your Android installation to read tags from the lockscreen, and creating an automation toolchain to unlock the phone when the desired tag is scanned.' There is also a video that demonstrates how it works."
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Unlock Your Android Phone With Open Source Wearable NFC

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  • by Glasswire (302197) <glasswire@ g m ail.com> on Thursday May 15, 2014 @11:34AM (#47009913) Homepage

    Boy, and I'd always heard it was a lot harder than that to get an unlocked phone

    • by Sneftel (15416)

      No, most phones don't have locks on them. They wouldn't be much use, as phones are intended neither to hold valuable objects, nor to be secured to a particular location.

      • >No, most phones don't have locks on them.
        >They wouldn't be much use, as phones are intended neither to hold valuable objects

        Are you posting from 1990? Of course phones hold valuable info and have locks on them.
      • My phone only unlocks once it reaches 30,000 feet.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now whoever try to get your "secret" stuff don't need to beat you with the 10$ wrench.

  • NFC Rings (Score:4, Informative)

    by mythosaz (572040) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @11:38AM (#47009955)

    You can grab NRC tag rings fairly cheaply at most of the Hong Kong importers.

    One of many examples:
    http://www.dx.com/p/smart-nfc-... [dx.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So now the muggers will be sure to ask for our jewelry as well as cellphone and wallet.

  • by J-1000 (869558) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @11:45AM (#47010001)
    You can also just put an NFC sticker in your wallet. Works pretty well. Admittedly, it's often more natural just to swipe in my pattern. And if you keep your phone and wallet in the same pocket you'll be prone to butt dialing.
    • Re:Wallet (Score:5, Funny)

      by camperdave (969942) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @12:09PM (#47010197) Journal

      You can also just put an NFC sticker in your wallet.

      She: "Maybe we could go out for drinks on Saturday"
      He: "Let me check my schedule" - pulls out phone and waves it around near his butt - "Yeah, I'm free"
      She (disgusted): "You pig! I'll never go out with you!"

      Wallet may not be the best place for that tag, although it probably beats placing it in your belt buckle.

      • by S.O.B. (136083)

        Wallet may not be the best place for that tag, although it probably beats placing it in your belt buckle.

        How about a tattoo on your johnson?

  • Do not want (Score:4, Funny)

    by PvtVoid (1252388) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @11:51AM (#47010041)
    I don't know about anyone else, but when I pick up my phone, I want it to work. Every time. This kind of interlock just adds another point of failure. Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police?

    If these things are ever sold anywhere, by anyone, it will be the first step in a slippery slope by which the phone grabbers will gut the First Amendment right to call anybody I want, any time. How long before the FCC demands a remote kill switch?
    • > a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean)

      No, who do you mean?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't know about anyone else, but when I pick up my phone, I want it to work. Every time. This kind of interlock just adds another point of failure. Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police?

      In Europe you can call emergency services from a locked phone. Not sure if that feature is crippled at your place.

    • by OverlordQ (264228)

      > Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police?

      You mean the emergency call button that is on every recent smartphone?

    • by oodaloop (1229816)

      Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police?

      No, I don't. But if you want to call the police, on your and anyone's phone, just dial emergency. That's available on every phone with no login.

      If these things are ever sold anywhere, by anyone, it will be the first step in a slippery slope by which the phone grabbers will gut the First Amendment right to call anybody I want, any time.

      Whoah, which Constitution are you reading? The one written a hundred+ years before the invention of the phone? You do not have any right to call anyone you want any time you want.

    • by OzPeter (195038)

      Its as if I heard the sound of hundreds, nay thousands of *whooshes* all at once.

      Well played sir.

    • I don't know about anyone else, but when I pick up my phone, I want it to work. Every time.

      Then you shouldn't get a cell phone. What you should get is a psychotherapist to help you deal with your paranoia issues.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police?

      Why would you want to call more police to your house?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      "Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police? "

      the police will find your body when they arrive.

      The LAST thing you reach for is a phone if your home is being invaded.

    • You know you can dial 911 without unlocking the phone, right?

  • Instead of putting the chip and antenna in her nail polish, she could have put it in her nose ring.
  • ... two days ago that had been missing for over six months, not sure how enthusiastic I'd be about this.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You're wife didn't go back to her lover's place for six months to get it off the night stand?

      Sad that their relationship seems to be breaking down.
      • You're wife didn't go back to her lover's place for six months to get it off the night stand?

        Sad that their relationship seems to be breaking down.

        "You are wife"?

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      I bet if you put the NFC in her wedding ring and made it the only way to unlock her phone, she'd be less prone to lose the ring!
    • The mailman was clearly on medical leave.

  • by Fencepost (107992) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @12:00PM (#47010113) Journal
    If you don't happen to have any NFC tags around, Shell gas stations with their Circle K convenience stores are using them as their new "loyalty" tags. You won't be able to write to them, but you can certainly read the ID out of one.
  • If I say, "Chicks who root their phones are hot," is it objectification?

    If so, is it: A. because I used the word, "chick," B. because I'm focusing on a single characteristic, rooting a phone, instead of the whole person, or C. because I'm implying that the most important thing about a woman rooting her phone is that it increases her sexual attractiveness?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If I say, "Chicks who root their phones are hot," is it objectification?

      If so, is it: A. because I used the word, "chick," B. because I'm focusing on a single characteristic, rooting a phone, instead of the whole person, or C. because I'm implying that the most important thing about a woman rooting her phone is that it increases her sexual attractiveness?

      I'd say (C) is the primary problem (going straight to the person's value as a sexual object is the definition of objectification), although the other two aren't great either.

      • by walshy007 (906710)

        (going straight to the person's value as a sexual object is the definition of objectification)

        Actually it has to do with their sense of agency. Agents can affect their surroundings, whereas things simply happen to objects, they are victims unable to affect anything.

        In this sense a lot of people self labelling themselves as feminists are objectifying women a lot at times.

    • by PPH (736903)

      It's objectification only if you think it adds any accessor methods to them.

      • It's objectification only if you think it adds any accessor methods to them.

        I prefer functional girls.

        • by cstacy (534252)

          It's objectification only if you think it adds any accessor methods to them.

          I prefer functional girls.

          Yeah, they don't have any side effects or hidden state.

          Enjoy your tail calls!

  • by Stealth Dave (189726) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @12:18PM (#47010269) Homepage

    I've been doing this on my Galaxy S3 for over 9 months now using an NFC tag glued to my watch band. All you need is a rooted phone running Android 4.0.3 and above and a willingness to install an XPosed plugin or two. This link has all the details:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/xposed/modules/mod-nfc-unlocking-based-t2478163

    TL;DR Steps:

    • ROOT YOUR PHONE (You'll have to Google this one yourself)
    • Install XPosed Framework [xposed.info]
    • Install NFC Lock Screen Off Enabler [xposed.info] module (you can find it in the Modules section of the XPosed Installer app)
    • Turn on NFC in lockscreen or screen off modes as desired
    • Register your NFC Tags to unlock your phone

    Much easier (and safer, IMO) than installing a modified system apk, and this method can also survive system upgrades provided that you maintain root. It will launch whatever action is set for that NFC tag (link, text, app, whatever), but you can use another XPosed module [xda-developers.com] to supress the "Empty Tag" message on empty tags, if you so desire.

    The Adafruit link from TFA has some interesting ideas on how to squeeze your NFC tag into some interesting places, and you can also buy some pretty small NFC tags on your own. I bought 20 Midas nTag NFC tags on Amazon for $13 with Prime shipping, and they measure 19mm x 12mm. You can shave another 2mm off of either dimension if you're very careful with the trimming. That was more than small enough to fit on the clasp of my watch, or on the back of a plastic watch band.

  • This is simple, and brilliant. Also much better than injecting an NFC tag under your skin, which was the previous approach to the same idea last I read. Kind of the downside of a male dominated tech industry, nobody thinks up stuff like nail polish :)
    • by mythosaz (572040)

      I've been using black nail polish for years to cover blue LEDs on consumer electronics.

      • I've been using black nail polish for years to cover blue LEDs on consumer electronics.

        The real question is; why do you have blue LEDs on your fingertips?

        • For wanking purposes. It's like fucking a router.

          or

          Why not? ;)

          • For wanking purposes. It's like fucking a router.

            or

            Why not? ;)

            I suppose a lot of people need an internet router for wanking purposes...

  • by phorm (591458)

    Pebble has an app that does something similar with Bluetooth. So long as your Pebble (watch) is in range and connected via BT, the phone is unlocked. As soon as it loses the connection it's back to pin-unlock mode.

  • For a number of motorola phones, this feature is already available. For $10, you get a clothing clip and 3 RFID stickers. Tap the phone to any of them, and it unlocks.

    http://www.motorola.com/us/mot... [motorola.com]

  • 1. Lure a new victim using latest NFC Android smartphone
    2. Chop off hand wearing NFC ring and holding the smartphone
    3. ???
    4. Profit!
  • How secure is it? How easy is it to impersonate the NFC tag?
  • I'd very much have a [professionally installed] subdermal RFID implant in my hand. There's no way I can loose it, and no matter the situation, I can always unlock my phone.
    There's no such thing as "I got so drunk I lost my hand last night.". In case of really nasty accidents, you always have the classic pin-code anyway.

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