Friday, 15 February 2013

Return of the iPhone lock screen hack

Like the killer in a bad horror movie, iOS’s lock screen hack just won’t die. The issue first popped up in iOS 2.0 and allowed ne’er-do-wells without the phone’s password to access contacts and photos. Back then, all it took was a quick double click from the emergency call screen to break the lock. The newest vulnerability is a little more complex, but concerning none-the-less.


Ok, so here’s how the new hack works.

1.  Hit the “Emergency Call” button on the lockscreen.

2.  Hold down the power button like you’re going to turn the phone off. Once you’re prompted to turn the phone off, instead of using the slider, hit “Cancel.”

3. Now that you're back at the Emergency Call screen dial your local emergency number (112 in the EU, 911 in the States) – please do not actually attempt this – and hit the call button, but immediately hang up the call.

4. Hit the power button once and put the phone into standby.

5. Hit the power button again to return to the lock screen.

6. Swipe the slider to get back to the Emergency Call screen.

7.  Hold down the power button for about four seconds. While still holding the button down, press the Emergency Call button.

8. Release the power button and immediately hit the Home button to avoid powering off the phone.

9. Et voila! You’re looking at the Contacts page!

  Here’s a YouTube video courtesy of The Verge showing exactly how this works.

We can only imagine the number of accidental emergency calls that must be going out in lieu of this discovery.

The good news is, hackers will only be able to access content available through your phone app and won’t have access to email or messages. Furthermore, Apple has acknowledged the problem and has promised an update imminently.

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