New iOS 6.1 Lock screen flaw compromises your iPhone

By , Feb 14, 2013

The iOS Lock screen bug has reared its ugly head again. This time around, the security exploit isn’t as straightforward as a 2011 issue which let intruders bypass your iPad’s Lock screen using a Smart Cover. In a nutshell, this new exploit discovered by a YouTube user involves making and immediately canceling an emergency call and holding down the Sleep/Wake button twice.

As detailed in a video above by The Verge, the method enables an intruder to bypass the unlock feature on the Lock screen and gain immediate access to your private stuff, including iMessages, FaceTime, photos and more. The flaw is iOS 6.1-specific and since it involves using the emergency calling feature, it’s likely that iPads and iPod touches are not susceptible. Go past the break for more information…

YouTube user videosdebarraquito first detailed the flaw in a video below.

The Verge was able to replicate the issue on two UK iPhone 5 units running iOS 6.1 while AppleInsider verified the glitch using an AT&T model iPhone 5 running iOS 6.1.

To test the glitch on your iPhone running iOS 6.1, follow these steps:

• lock your iPhone by pressing the Sleep/Wake button
• press the Home button to wake the device and then perform the slide-to-unlock gesture
• tap the Emergency Call button
• now hold the Sleep/Wake button until the power down slider appears
• tap Cancel
• when the status bar turns blue, punch in ‘911’ or your emergency number
• tap the Call button and then immediately cancel the call
• hit the Sleep/Wake button to lock your iPhone
• turn it back on by pressing the Home button
• now perform the slide-to-unlock gesture again
• hold the Sleep/Wake button and after 3 seconds tap the Emergency Call button

You should now be able to access various iPhone features, like iMessages, FaceTime, contacts, the Phone app, photos, voicemail, call list, email messages and lots more.

You can even send email messages, iMessages, create a new contact and what not.

Apple promised to fix the iOS 6.1 iOS Exchange bug in a forthcoming software update so perhaps they’ll fix this annoying glitch as well.

So, what do you think?

Were you able to replicate the issue?

Much ado about nothing or a major privacy scare?

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  • m3nphls

    LOL, lame vulnerability. They can make all the phone calls they want on my iphone if they want.

  • Annon des

    iPhone 4S and 6.1 and 6.1.1 has a WIFI bug. The phone will lose wifi connection after about 40 minutes to 1 hour of use. Going to the lockscreen and and unlocking your device again will bring back wifi. I wish apple could fix this bug. I also have an iPhone 4 and the bug does NOT exist on this device… i guess its related to the iPhone 4S.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002090550614 Kash Gummaraju

      I’ve had that bug since 6.0

      • Annon des

        im sure it has existed for a long time, but i noticed it just now. If you download a tweak from cydia called “Insomnia” it fixes the problem. BUT you have to remember to switch wifi off every time you put the phone in standby or you´ll have batterydrain. (“Insomnia” keeps the wifi connection alive even in standby mode).

    • FabianPVD

      Don’t know what wifi bug this is. Haven’t lost wifi all night.

      • Annon des

        try watching a long movie on youtube with wifi on and dont touch the phone for about 60 – 90 minutes and see if ur wifi have dropped… btw do u have an iphone 4s?

      • Kaptivator

        Not being funny…but why watch a movie on a phone screen? In an airport waiting for a connecting flight is the only way that I can see myself doing that. Even then, I would have had to run out of other things to do. Not knocking it…Just asking.

      • Annon des

        actually i never watch movies on the phone, but i just found out that WIFI drops EVERY single time i leave the phone on with a movie playing… i guess u can just leave the phone on with autolock set to “Never” and still get to phone to drop wifi….

      • Kaptivator

        That’s interesting to know. Never realized that.

    • Ahmadjoon

      me too on my iPad 3 sice 6.0 so I sold it today and waiting for iPad 5

    • http://twitter.com/Jack_maredit Jackson Grong

      I don’t have this problem, iPad 4, always connected to wi-fi.

      • Annon des

        it seems to be related to iPhone 4S.

  • http://twitter.com/ifomenegra if@menegra

    steve will get off is coffin

    • http://twitter.com/nabil_nasir nabil nasir

      probably kill somebody in cupertino too

  • http://twitter.com/mrobertson21 Martin Robertson

    lol interesting that christian zibreg posted this artcle

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001903341306 Alessandro Cristiano da Silva

    Here did not work on my iPhone 4, iOS 6.1 with Jailbreak… just a black screen.

    • http://twitter.com/samerised 林毅弘

      mine too

      • Mustafa Ahmed

        The same thing happened on my iPhone. Turns out you have to get the 3 seconds spot on.

    • Stpfers

      That’s right, I’m getting the same Black Screen on my jailbroken iPhone 4S iOS 6.1

  • FabianPVD

    Not worried since half the population is too afraid to follow instructions that are simple/involve 911.

  • @dongiuj

    Also iphone 5 ios 6.1 jailbroken screws up the weather once weather widgets are installed from cydia.

  • http://www.facebook.com/siggen Sigurd Bøe

    Hope we get a JB tweak to fix this :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

    It baffles me how one could come across this glitch. It’s hardly the most normal action to make on an iPhone

  • Ruslan Dimitry

    Since I upgraded to iOS 6.1 I have discovered another problem. When I make calls and even when the call is answered it shows as calling, this means the call time didn’t start to run. Now I’m running iOS 6.1.1 4S jailbroken but still I have the same problem. Did anyone of you have the same problem or is there a fix anybody knows in jailbreak community?

    • Annon des

      Just tried it. i do not have this problem…..

    • http://profiles.google.com/preetvarunsingh PREETVARUN SINGH

      I also have the same problem.

    • Stpfers

      iPhone 4S iOS 6.1, and I can’t replicate the issue.

  • Blendi Krasniqi

    iPhone 4 iOS 6.1.1 has a bug also, after long use of Wi-Fi sometimes it jumps from 3 bars to 1 bar and then back to 3 .

  • Eldaria

    I been wondering why Apple has not added a function to add an ICE contact that can be called without unlocking the phone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diego-Milano/629446773 Diego Milano

    Watch out, new iOS update coming along the way! ;)

  • http://twitter.com/samerised 林毅弘

    I always wonder how they discover stuffs like this. Do they tap everything they see?

    • Kaptivator

      My question is…Why make it public? Kinda like the news telling people about bath salts and molly. If your kid didn’t know, they know now!

      • http://twitter.com/helliwell86 llǝɥɾ

        needs to be public so people are more aware and more chance of apple finding out and fixing if it were kept quite there could a few theifs operating quite easily

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=539480065 Leslie Kwan

      That’s a very interesting point you brought up.

    • phatmanjr.

      It’s possible they look at coding and they could decipher from there.

      • http://twitter.com/samerised 林毅弘

        I think so. Sort of like jailbreaking.

      • phatmanjr.

        yeah, sort of like that.

    • Mohammed Sahib

      By chance imguess. Perhaps some people don’t have anything to do with their lives other than playing around with their gadgets.

    • seyss

      ever heard of code debugging?

      • phatmanjr.

        yup.

  • Annon des

    I just don´t understand how Apple could fuck everything up so badly with iOS 6, i mean just look at Apple Maps! iOS 6 has been a big fucking mess from the start! I wish i could get iOS 5.1.1 back on my device. I want iOS 7 NOW !!! i DONT even want new features. Just FIX all the damn bugs!

    • Todd Young

      Actually, if you don’t want new features and you just want Apple to fix the existing bugs, the last thing you want is iOS 7, as all major releases include many new features, which tend to introduce their own new bugs. Rather, you’re best to install the next maintenance release of iOS 6.

  • seyss

    do you people really believe this is a bug?
    this is, like the previous bug was, totally intentional. probably forced on apple by law enforcement / government..

    stop being naive

  • Luizmazutti

    You can proctect your device of this bug with a igotya in prevent off mode. When your device is locked igotya prevent off your device and take a picture of the person that try use your device. Only can off my device using sleep butom when is unlocked in springboard. Igotya is a tweek and you need a jailbreak.

  • http://twitter.com/monster_hazardo Roger Riekki

    Damn this is dangerous.

  • Falk M.

    Damn… what a retro flash of the good old PS1/GBC days when you had to do stuff like this for cheat codes…

    Up, Up, Down, Left, Right Trigger, Circle, Up…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spolo Stefano ‘Graziani’ Polo

    I think it’s safe to say that no one with an iPhone vulnerable to this glitch should be worried at all. Way too complicated of a glitch to perform let a lone remember

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryanjames.christensen Ryan James Christensen

    Couldn’t you screw something up and accidentally connect to 911?

    • Ray V

      Yes, this happened to me. I was surprised when they called me back.

  • Rickm_jr

    Someone should create a flex patch for this

    • Rickm_jr

      Assuming that’s possible

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000189805250 Zaw Win Htun

    Does this work on iPhone 4S 6.1.1 ?

  • Fr33zty14

    I have already 6! Ways of bypassing the lock screen for newest iOS 6.2..
    Since I have dialup it’s very hard to post a video… So it does take some time…
    But every time between that long wait of posting the video, I always get messages from IDB someone else has posted one.. Well now I’m happy because this only allows access to the device…

    JUST like the other bug this will get patched… Thankfully apple will only concentrate on fixing what has been seen here… Allowing my lock screen flaws still ready for exploit…

    But I still wonder.. Do I dare give the security flaw? Or do I let it be looked passed apon… Because if you think about it.. We are pushing apple to update these bugs… WHICH WILL ALSO PUSH THEM TO FIX THE JAILBREAK!!!

  • Fr33zty14

    I will be posting a video soon….
    The easiest way to bypass the newest ios6 lock screen.. (Get into phone.app)

    And I was happy about the ios6.2 lock screen bypass, because It wasn’t one of my ways.. Therefore his was patched, and mine was looked apon…

    STUFF IT! I WILL POST A VIDEO ON THURSDAY!!!