Security holes and glitches are a nightmare for any software or firmware developer and particularly when you’ve got one of the most prominent mobile operating systems in the world with one. Hackers and coders have tendency to unpick the work Apple’s iOS team have put into making the OS secure, but this latest hole doesn’t require any knowledge beyond the basic operation of the iPhone’s hardware controls and lockscreen.
The exploit which, was discovered at the end of January by YouTube user Videosdebarraquito, is currently doing the rounds and as such, has been confirmed to work by the likes of The Verge, Gizmodo and other tech sites. As detailed in the video, with the right balance of entering numbers into the emergency dialler, tapping the lock/power key and repeating, allow access to some of the phone’s functions.
Thankfully this exploit doesn’t completely unlock the handset, effectively allowing full use of the phone and potentially the registered payment card tied to the user’s account to a complete stranger. Instead, the full address book, with contact’s emails, phone numbers and other information are viewable and with the option to add a photo to a contact, the iPhone’s photo library too.
Apple haven’t yet suggested a fix although we might see iOS 6.1.1 arrive to patch up the issue earlier than we’d have originally anticipated.