Canadian tech consultant Ade Barkah has uncovered a security bug in iOS 5 that allows for someone to bypass an iPhone’s lock screen and view the device’s photo albums, even without knowing the passcode.

In iOS 5, there is a convenient button on the lock screen, which appears by double-tapping the home button, that allows for you to launch the camera application. Normally, Apple has a restriction that prohibits you from viewing any images on your iPhone’s camera roll while the device is locked, however, during his travels from Canada to Argentina, Barkah discovered that Apple’s restriction is merely based on the iPhone’s system time…

If the iPhone’s clock is ever rolled back, any picture with a time stamp greater than the iPhone’s system clock can now be viewed without a passcode. While it does not occur frequently, an iPhone’s clock could be rolled backwards as a result of a software glitch or by syncing with an erroneous source such as a computer with an incorrect time.

Apple is notorious for releasing time-related bugs, but is usually quick to release a software update to patch the issues. iPhone 4S and iPad 2 owners should be cautious before updating to any such software update, as Apple might patch the untethered jailbreak vulnerability that iOS hacker pod2g is currently working on for A5-equipped devices.

  • Well, it’s not a glitch. There is already option to show the camera roll on lock screen or not! You can simply turn off from showing on lock screen! simple!

    • Anonymous

      It’s still a glitch… it’s just an easy glitch to get rid of.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah man……………………Still a glitch……………………If that setting is disabled and the time zone is off…….you can still access pictures

  • Kok Hean

    If there’s a pass code, the person wouldn’t even be able to access the Settings app, let alone set the time backwards. And I don’t think people would want to set their time back anyway, unless they want to cheat in games or something. I think that a time stamp is good for now.

    • Well actually, if your iPhone is setup to auto sync time, once you plug it into a PC/Mac, it will update the time according to the Machine automatically.

  • Keksz


  • Anonymous

    Yeah……………………….I noticed tht

  • This happened other day to me. When i tried to force it to happen I had no luck. This would make one of my fav apps icaughtupro useless

  • Last week my son was playing with my iPad 2, and I noticed that the slide show started playing with the iPad locked.! I thought, HELL, never seen this before!
    Didn’t give it another think, but well I guess I wasn’t wrong to be surprised at least…

  • I found this a long time ago. Lol

  • Anonymous

    If someone has your phone in your hand all they simply have to do is slide to unlock and they are into your phone because not many people use a passlock, =I know loads of iphone users that have dont use passlocks. I would love if apple re-thought their unlocking system to something like the HTC, its so simple and classy. Thats why HTC XT unlock rocks in Cydia 🙂

  • Also, whether u have a passcode or not, if you bring up the camera app from the lock screen, click the photos on the bottom left it may say locked, but if u hit the home button, instead of taking you back to lock screen, it takes u direct to your home screen, not only showing off your photos, but allowing full access to any apps etc. tried with passcode on and off and happens

    • I noticed the same thing and was going to post. Major major bug I’d say. I’ll be turning the lock screen camera function off to protect my personal stuff! Very poor Apple

    • Joe

      Really? I just tried that — but it takes me back to the lock screen, not the home screen.

  • This is more than just a glitch. Any iPhone pictures, at least, can be retrieved, password-locked or not, on any PC, anywhere in the world. The fact that we think that THIS is the glitch is a problem. Apple doesn’t pay attention to the fact that some users might want to use PCs to empty your pictures from your phone, while – say – you’re getting your screen fixed.