Arduboy saves the day!

This is a story I wanted to share which I thought the folks here might appreciate :slight_smile:

I recently went on holiday and my wife accidentally dropped her phone in a rock pool at the beach. In an attempt to save it, we dried it off and stuffed it in a bag of rice until we could get home. After a few days, we switched it on but unfortunately the display was broken although we could hear that it was booting up OK. With all our holiday snaps trapped inside we were really hoping to get the photos off the phone.

Now the problem was that although it had a setting enabled to upload photos to the cloud, it only did so when unlocked and connected to WiFi. It was connecting to our home network just fine, but how could we unlock it? It has a fingerprint sensor, but after switching on you must first use a pattern unlock before a fingerprint unlock becomes available. Plugging the phone into a computer also requires you to unlock the phone first and grant permissions. Without a working screen this seemed like an impossible task!

Some advice online was to use an external display and a mouse to drive the phone, but unfortunately this particular model doesn’t support driving an external display. It does let you plug in a mouse, but it would be impossible to trace the pattern blindly, right?

It was then I remembered that when I developed Ardutosh there is a way to make an Arduboy act like a mouse. So I got out my Arduboy and coded up an Arduino sketch to trace the mouse movements of the unlock pattern. I was able to test on another phone first so I wasn’t developing it completely blind.

And it actually worked! It made the unlock ‘click’ sound and from there we were able to use the Google assistant to launch the Google Photos app which then triggered the cloud backup / upload! Our precious holiday photos saved by an Arduboy :grin:

TL;DR - Wrote an Arduino sketch and used my Arduboy as a fake mouse to unlock my wife’s phone with a dead screen to recover our holiday photos


That is so incredibly specific but man, i am impressed!

1 Like

Bro you used Arduboy as mouse script injector, pen testing level increases! Intelligence goes up! Dexterity goes up!

This is epic, although I think you could also do so with a keyboard I think the numbers map to the unlock buttons?

That’s awesome!

EDIT: Wait @jhhoward does that mean you’re taking your Arduboy with you on vacation?

1 Like

Don’t give script kiddies any ideas. They should just stick with playing games :wink:


Fantastic story!

1 Like

A keyboard would have worked if it were a PIN unlock but it isn’t possible with a pattern unlock, which is why I had to emulate a mouse!