Canadian tech blogger Ade Barkah has discovered a new security loophole in Apple’s most recent iOS update, iOS 5.0.1. It involves FaceTime, and lets anyone make a call out, even with the highest security settings in place.

The loophole has been confirmed to work on both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, and hopefully is addressed by Apple soon. Barkah details the bug on his blog…

We’re able to trick Voice Control to enumerate through the private address book and make live FaceTime video calls on a locked iPhone 4, even with Voice Dial specifically disabled in the settings.

Barkah set his iPhone 4 to the highest security settings with a passcode, and also turned off Voice Control. Even with the security settings in place, he could still make a call through the Emergency Call page, sending in commands through Voice Control, without having to type in his password. Luckily, actual voice calls didn’t go through, but rather he could look through contacts and even see contacts’ pictures. FaceTime calls did go through, however.

Now Voice Control leaks that I have two numbers for Lisa Klein: her “mobile” and another number at the “love shack“.  Had this been my jealous girlfriend probing my locked phone, I would’ve been totally busted! Remember, we’re getting all this info from a locked phone with Voice Dial explicitly disabled. So far we’ve only enumerated through the Contacts.  Can we actually complete a call from the locked phone?  With FaceTime, the answer is yes! Again starting from the Emergency Call screen, this time I say, “FaceTime <Lisa Klein>”.  

Obviously for iPhone 4S users, this will only work if Siri is turned off (default setting), because that’s when the iPhone 4S will begin using Voice Control. The iPhone 3GS doesn’t have this problem, because the older device doesn’t feature FaceTime, which was introduced with the iPhone 4. Someone could still sniff through your contacts, though.

This is a big problem. Anyone could snoop through your contacts, or even worse, call one of them. iOS 5.1, which is rumored to launch March 9th, will hopefully address this bug.


  • I think I have come up with a pretty good fix for this one: don’t leave your phone unattended

    • sn0wbaLL

      thats not the point here. I work at a software company and any bug is a bug. No matter how serious, lame, stupid, hard or easy to reproduce. A bug is a bug and it needs to be fixed. You can’t tell consumers to just not do that or this.

      • Anonymous

        But isn’t that exactly how Apple handles their bugs, “don’t hold it that way” haha

      • sn0wbaLL

        that was a hardware bug, not a software bug. but i get your point. thankfully its been fixed on the 4s

  • Anonymous

    F**k this sh*t!
    iOS 5.1 = no jailbreak. nuff said

  • cruzcontrol1001

    Without face break or 3G unrestrictor or even the right wifi network with security settings in place you still can’t make FaceTime calls. I guess a bug is a bug. A quick fix would be sbsettings toggle for FaceTime.

  • I think Apple leaves one or two minor loopholes deliberately so that users are bound to update their iOS and lose their jailbreak since the next firmware is always harder to JB…

  • I did this once when I couldn’t get my iPod unlocked. It kept me from having to restore.

  • Anonymous

    so…… a hacker could find my iPhone unattended, on Wi-fi, with Siri disabled, and make a free Facetime call? oh well

  • there is a workaround for this… disable voice control. i never use it, therefore it’s disabled. granted, you need to be jailbroken. you can do this with Springtomize or modify the relative plist file (/System/Library/CoreServices/

  • So which would I rather have: a tethered jailbreak or a FaceTime bug? Tough question…