This $200 Brute Force Bot Will Bust Your Phone's Pin in Hours

Your Android phone is not safe. This 3D-printed robot systematically tries all of the possible lock screen PINs for your phone until it gets in. With your standard four-digit number, your phone is compromised in under a day. If only you'd had an iPhone!

The Robotic Reconfigurable Button Basher will be presented by researchers at the Black Hat conference next week in Las Vegas. Besides being able to crack an Android device's lock screen PIN, Forbes reports that the researchers behind the open-source bot are working on adapting the technology to work on any security system that requires a PIN—say a hotel safe or an ATM.

Now, of course, there is a very simple way to counter the assault of this robot, which is to employ security systems that prevent brute force attacks by simply blocking excessive attempts at busting the code. iOS, for example, will lock you out to the point where you need outside help to get into your phone after three fails. Android, however, only locks you out for a short period before you can try again—by default, anyway. Regardless, the bot is a sobering reminder that the PIN on your phone is no match for someone who really wants to get past it. [Black Hat 2013 via Forbes via The Verge]