iOS 6.1 bug lets anyone bypass iPhone lock screen

iOS 6.1 bug lets anyone bypass iPhone lock screen

Summary: A bug in iOS 6.1 allows anyone to unlock a device and access data stored on the device without knowing the passcode.

SHARE:

A security problem with iOS 6.1 could potentially allow anyone to bypass the lock screen on a device running the OS and access the data on the phone.

Read this

iPhone and innovation: Is hardware the only place Apple can go to keep up the buzz?

iPhone and innovation: Is hardware the only place Apple can go to keep up the buzz?

Speculation about the next iteration of the iPhone has already begun - but how many times can Apple reinvent its classic handset?

The issue allows anyone who knows the trick to unlock a phone and access call logs, contacts, favourite contacts, make calls and even access photos on the device by trying to add a photo to a contact.

The issue was uncovered by YouTube user videosdebarraquito and involves quickly making and cancelling an emergency call and holding down the power button.

The iOS 6.1 operating system has suffered a number of bugs including excessive logging issues when connected to an Exchange server. It also had issues with 3G that lead UK network operator Vodafone to advise its customers not to update their handsets until the problem had been rectified.

A subsequent update to iOS 6.1.1 led Vodafone to tell customers to go ahead and update. It's also not the first time that an Apple update has left handsets vulnerable — iOS 4.1 had a very similar issue that let anyone bypass the lock screen.

Apple had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

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.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

14 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • It wouldn't be a security flaw...

    ...if you weren't holding it wrong (with the button pressed, after calling 911).
    jvitous
  • Careful making such statements.

    "Apple had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication."

    The Apple fanbois jumped all over another ZDNet blogger for making such a statement which turned out to be in error. Don't want anyone to besmirch poor widdle Apple.
    ye
    • Funny how the Apple haters

      are actually more fanatical than the fans of Apple. Look in the mirror, you actually take the time to write a comment on this article...how sad.
      GoPower
      • Errrrrrr pot and kettle

        So enraged were you that you needed to comment on a pointless comment.

        Yes I know, same as me but I'm pointing out your contradiction, which, judging by comments, is based on emotion rather than reason. Well done, you proved the isheep theory. By being completely and utterly wrong.
        Little Old Man
  • I read the steps needed to bypass the lock screen on another web site

    Trust me. If you lost your cell phone and 100,000 persons from random had a chance to access your iPhone using those steps to bypass the lock screen, well, maybe one person out of those 100,000 might be able to do it - MIGHT - be able to do it.

    Of course, to be fair, if any of those persons had access to a computer and new about this bug, than a quick internet search might reveal the proper technique to unlock an iPhone running iOS 6.1

    However, until a fix for this bug is available for installation, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
    kenosha77a
    • This never seemed to be acceptable to Windows bugs.

      "If you lost your cell phone and 100,000 persons from random had a chance to access your iPhone using those steps to bypass the lock screen, well, maybe one person out of those 100,000 might be able to do it - MIGHT - be able to do it."

      No matter how small the risk on Windows it was always a big deal. But when it comes to Apple? It's a non-issue.
      ye
      • On the contrary

        Windows apologists use the same tactic all the time.
        baggins_z
        • Of course they used it.

          How else would it have been rejected? The point is a "tactic" which was used by Windows "apologists" was rejected by everyone else. Now those people who rejected said "tactic" are employing it themselves. Can you say "hypocrisy"?
          ye
          • Not apologizing for anyone or accusing anyone of hypocrisy.

            Personally, I feel each exploit is unique. I read about this one today. I have made, to my knowledge, no other statements in the past regarding a similar exploit on any other platform - whether that platform was associated with Microsoft, Google, RIM (Blackberry) or Nokia.

            If you feel other persons have unfairly bashed your platform of choice in the past, well, post what you have to post. But those accusations won't apply to me.
            kenosha77a
          • Kind of like you are

            Doing right now, only in reverse.
            baggins_z
    • I agree with you.

      For anyone not paying attention here's the exploit:

      1. Lock device
      2. Slide to unlock
      3. Tap emergency call
      4. Hold sleep button until the power down prompt shows. Click cancel, you will notice the status bar turn blue. Type in 211 or your emergency number and click call then cancel it asap so the call dosen’t go through.
      5. Lock your device with the sleep button then turn it on using the home button.
      6. Slide to unlock then hold the sleep button and in 3 seconds tap emergency call. This will spazz out the phone and cause it to open.

      All I can say to this is one big OMG! Based on the coverage ZDNet, CNet, TheVerge have given this, one would think that some form of Stuxnet was released and that all Nuclear power plant around the world were about to explode.

      To me at least, this is a non-issue.
      No different than my colleaugue's Motorola Razr HD that I can unlock by presenting it a photo of him.
      MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
      • Was meant as a reply to Kenosha's post

        I must've hit the wrong reply button.
        MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
      • Both big flaws though?

        This is the internet age, if one person knows, we all know. All it would take is someone to find an iphone and their mate shouts "I know how to get into that, google it". And that's at the amateur end of the market. Serious hackers or anyone interested in industrial espionage would consider this a n easy hack.
        I agree it's a on a par with the facial recognition problems which is why I won't use it and go for the ultra secure pattern unlock. Allegedly it can defeat the FBI so it should stop my numnut mates.
        Little Old Man
    • Stretching a little?

      "Of course, to be fair, if any of those persons had access to a computer and new about this bug, than a quick internet search might reveal the proper technique to unlock an iPhone running iOS 6.1"

      That's a good % of the world population these days :)
      Little Old Man