Major flaw exposed in Google and Samsung’s Find My Device systems


A lot of phones these days have some kind of feature that lets you track down and lock a phone that has been lost or stolen. This is supposed to be a secure feature meant to help users retrieve their devices and to deter theft, but unfortunately it looks like a possible “bug” in Samsung’s and Google’s Find My Mobile/Device has made the feature useless.

According to a post on Reddit by u/Minimum-Lemon-402, they have discovered that by power cycling their device, it will apparently disable the Find My Mobile feature. Basically what this means is that whoever finds your lost phone or whoever stole your phone, all they’d need to do is restart it and you would not be able to find your phone again.

This bug also works if your phone battery dies and your phone turns off as a result and is turned back on again. According to the user, they reached out to Samsung but claim that the company has been “less than useless”. Multiple users in the comments have tested this out themselves and have confirmed it to be the case.

We have also tried it out ourselves with the Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy S21, and Galaxy S23 and can also confirm that Find My Mobile does not work when a phone has been through a power cycle. We’re not sure if this is an intended feature or a bug, but hopefully it is the latter because it means it can be fixed.

The bright side is that Samsung and Google (and other handset makers) have security measures that prevent phones from being wiped and resold. This means that the worst that could happen should this ever happen to you is that you won’t be able to find your phone again, which would suck if you paid over $1,000 for a flagship handset, but unless the thief has your phone’s PIN or access to your biometric data, your data should still be relatively safe.

Source: Reddit

Tyler Lee
A graphic novelist wannabe. Amateur chef. Mechanical keyboard enthusiast. Writer of tech with over a decade of experience. Juggles between using a Mac and Windows PC, switches between iOS and Android, believes in the best of both worlds.

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