Apple confirms iOS 6.1 lock-screen flaw, promises fix

Apple confirms iOS 6.1 lock-screen flaw, promises fix

Summary: A flaw in the security of iOS 6.1 that allows anyone to unlock a handset and access personal data on a device has been acknowledged by Apple.

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iOS 6.1.1
Apple has acknowledged a bug in iOS 6.1 that affects the lock screen. Image: CNET

Apple has promised to fix a flaw that allows anyone to bypass the lockscreen on a device running iOS 6.1.

The company has confirmed the issue in a statement sent to ZDNet on Friday, and promised to fix it, although it did not say when.

"Apple takes user security very seriously. We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update," an Apple spokesman said.

The vulnerability allows anyone that knows the method to access contacts, call logs, messages and pictures (via trying to add a contact picture) on a device without knowing the pin code to unlock it.

iOS 6.1 also brought a number of other issues, such as excessive polling of Exchange servers and 3G connectivity issues, which lead UK operator Vodafone to advise its customers not to update their handsets.

A subsequent patch in iOS 6.1.1 fixed this problem; however, this was before the lock screen problem came to light.

This isn't the first time that an iOS update introduced this issue to devices: iOS 4.1 brought similar problems to the iPhone.

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, Mobility, Security, Smartphones

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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13 comments
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  • Android is the cause

    I hope that system to die... Long life to Apple and their products Heil Apple..!!
    dkaparunakis@...
    • +1

      I'm all for badly written ridiculous rants, keep up the good work.
      Little Old Man
  • Grats Apple

    Used to love my iPhone. So many things malfunction on it now, lock screen slider not functioning unless I put it to sleep and try again sometimes, hard set brightness not lighting the screen all the way sometimes, weird issues with text message sounds sounding 10 secs after the text arrived sometimes, tipping the phone away from my ear doesn't light the screen for more than 1 second almost all of the time. It's just like every other companies device now, random weirdness.

    I'm not really married to any apps, so my next phone purchase will be based on features and how it will potentially integrate into my daily life. My last upgrade I went from the iPhone 3gs to the 4s because the 3gs was so reliable, and there wasn't really anything comparable at the time. That is not the case anymore.

    Grats Apple, you have arrived.
    daves@...
    • Tried to fix it??

      Any one phone can have the problems you describe, doesn't matter who the manufacturer is. What have you done to try to fix it? Factory reset? Replace the phone??

      Yeah, maybe you have a lemon or maybe you dropped it. Systemtic problems are what usually calls for attention here.
      MajorlyCool
      • Or maybe...

        ...he is holding it wrong
        Snarfiorix
      • What I did was

        Reloaded it, same problems. Called apple support, they replaced the phone. 1 issue went away, the rest remained, and I got 1 new issue.

        And yeah, that was my point. Apple is now like anyone else. Nothing special.
        daves@...
  • Apple QA

    It seems that Apple is having more software quality problems. Or it could be the sign of thinning reality distortion field. In any case Apple should step up and spend some of their hoarded cash on QA people and maybe few extra software engineers.
    paul2011
    • Errr....

      They actually have QA people? Oh the ones the came over from Google's Chrome browser division. :-) [And you know how buggy the Chrome browser is!]
      Gisabun
      • Yes, which is why Apple QA is still rated highest in the industry

        .DeusExMachina.
  • Never mind the security flaws

    Just drink in the press releases of all those guvmint agencies abandoning RIM for Apple. No worries!
    dowlingm
    • Huh?

      While the lock screen is a security issue, there are still plenty of non-security flaws plaguing the iPhone.
      And who says Blackberry users are running to the iPhone? Links please.
      Gisabun
      • How about you crawl out from under your rock and Google it?

        It's not like it hasn't been all over the tech press the last few weeks or anything!
        .DeusExMachina.
  • Apple's Software Quality Is Going Downhill

    Seems like every IOS update recently has major problems, and their attempts at bug fixes just introduce more bugs.

    Are they cutting corners on quality control internally?
    ldo17