Update: The Loop reports that Apple has acknowledged this bug and has said that a fix is on the cards. They’re working on it but there’s no date attached to the fix. Hopefully, it will ship soon.
The video below shows a neat little trick that allows anyone who has an access to your passcode-locked iPhone to make calls. It’s a little complicated (or may be a lot more complicated than what I just said) but anyone who has a lot of free time would definitely try this.
The guy in the video first taps the emergency call button to get to the emergency calling screen, then holds the power button till the power-off slider appears and cancels it. Then he makes an emergency call only to cut it instantly. Then, he turns off the screen (press power button), presses the home button to get to the lockscreen again, and then while holding the power button, presses the emergency call button. By some magic – which the tech world calls vulnerability – the phone app opens! And voila! Just like that, he can now make calls, delete call history, add/remove contacts… the only good news is that he can’t get out of the Phone app.But all your contacts are literally stark naked.
The vulnerability is found in iOS 6.0.1, iOS 6.0.2 and the recent, iOS 6.1.
This looks like an enormously silly and minor bug/vulnerability. I’m sure Apple will probably push an update that will patch this but when is something that we can all debate about. Apple only recently pushed the iOS 6.1.1 update for iPhone 4S users, fixing some 3G glitches.
Now would be one of the good times to remember that it’s not really safe to assume that your iPhone’s data is always safe. There are three things we want to push here:
- Cloud: Embrace it.
- Find My iPhone: Enable it.
- Backup: Never forget it.
With such vulnerabilities, data getting lost is as much catastrophic as data getting stolen. Contacts, email, Reminders, Calendars: your iPhone probably stores a ton of information. Get them onto the cloud as soon as possible and as much as possible. With iCloud, your data is not only retrievable, but easily accessible too.
Enable Find My iPhone along with Location Services (found under Settings → Privacy).
And the most important thing: backup your data once in a while. Monthly backups are pretty good, although weekly would be good.