New iOS 6.1 Lock screen flaw compromises your iPhone

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?