A bug recently discovered in iOS 6.0.1 and above (i.e iOS 6.1, iOS 6.1.1) lets you unlock an iPhone without needing to know the password, meaning anyone with access to your phone can make calls, edit contacts, send messages on your behalf, and more.
The trick involves some fancy button pressing, and it’s actually pretty difficult to pull off. You can check out the video to see it in action. It’s almost like a video game cheat code: first you open the emergency call window and press a few digits, then quickly end the call, go to the lock screen, hold down the power button and tap the emergency call button right before the slider shows up. You’ll then end up inside the Phone app where you can make calls, send messages, see contact information, and so on. You can’t leave the Phone app, though, so at least that’s nice.
Still, considering that we are living in an age of really sensitive information, this problem is really worrying. If your phone is stolen by someone, or you accidentally lose it, there’s no wonder what the thief can do with your phone.
We’re really hoping that Apple fixes this problem rather quickly, so that our devices are safe. Meanwhile, we really recommend you enable Find My iPhone on your iPhone, so that you can locate it, locate it and wipe it if it gets in the hands of the wrong person.
It’s not the first time a trick like this has plagued an Apple device; a similar iOS 4.1 bug allowed the same kind of access. It was fixed with the release of iOS 4.2 —which came out a month later. So if history holds true, it could be a month until we see this patched up.