According to a new research published yesterday by Germany’s Erlangen University, passcodes may not be a match for freezing temperatures as researchers were able to bypass a Galaxy Nexus’ security settings to read the phone’s memory simply by sticking it in the freezer for a while. The method is called a “cold boot” attack and was first demonstrated on PCs in 2008.
The cold boot attack was performed, but through an approach that differs from how it’s done to PCs. The Galaxy Nexus retains information after a shutdown for up to two seconds, which researchers were able to extend it to a five or six second retention window. Once researchers were able to have the phone reach that length of time, they were able to successfully pull data from the device with the help of a computer.