iOS 7 Lock Screen Security Bug Surfaces, Here’s How to Fix It [u]

Just a day after iOS 7 went public, an important security bug has been discovered that lets anyone who has your iPhone in his/her hands bypass the Lock screen — with passcode lock on — and have access to photos, email, Twitter, and more, Forbes‘ Andy Greenberg reports.

The bug was discovered by Jose Rodriguez, who has discovered an iOS 6 lock screen bug earlier this year. As you can see from the video below, the passcode involves the brand new Control Center. We’ve tested it on an iPhone 4 and it works, but we cannot confirm access to other apps than Camera.

So here is how the trick works: first you need to make sure the passcode lock is on. Now launch Control Center from your lock screen and choose to launch the clock app. After the app launches, hold down the power button until the “slide to power off” message appears. Hit Cancel and hit the Home button twice (just like you do when you are multitasking) milliseconds after hitting Cancel. There you go: you entered the phone’s multitasking screen.

From there on, the intruder theoretically will have access to all apps you opened earlier, the report highlights and as you can see in the video. But, again, we cannot confirm that they indeed have access to it.

ios 7 bug

While we are waiting for Apple to address this bug, there is a simple workaround that will keep this from happening: revoke Control Center access from the lock screen. To do that, you can simply hit Setting>Control Center and toggle the “Access on Lock Screen” off. That’s it, your content is now safe.

Update: Apple has told AllThingsD they are aware of this flaw and will fix it in a future iOS update.

“Apple takes user security very seriously,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller toldAllThingsD. “We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update.”

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • Shawn

    Tried it on the iPhone 5, and while I was able to get to the multi-tasking view, I could not open any of the apps that were shown – with the exception of those apps that appear in the Control Center anyway (i.e. Calculator, etc.)

  • HelloCDN

    Oh no, the burglar would be able to access my Calculator…

  • gerry

    I had to restart mine since the volume icon was going all wonky on the lock screen. It worked fine afterwards (restart).

  • Sledge

    If you open the camera app from the multitask bar this way, you also have access to the camera roll. Not good if you have private pics.

  • Will

    On the unlock screen i don’t seem to have the 4 dots above the numbers like everyone else? has anyone else have this issue?

  • Xywix

    Help iphoneincanada! I can’t locate the universal search in the drop down menu on ios7 and can’t find iTunes Radio anywhere!!

  • Xywix

    They removed it from ios7 atleast of you have ip5!

  • Will

    I’m not sure about that since my wife has the 4 dots on her iphone we both upgrade to iOS 7 at the same time and both have iPhone4.

    Every picture i’ve seen if the screen has them, here a screenshot
    http://goo.gl/Uz9Jtn

  • 1. Swipe down from the homescreen (or any screen)
    2. iTunes Radio is US only :/

  • Manik

    This only works if you’re one of those iphone users that keeps apps open in the background all the time. The workaround is to close all of your apps; but I’m sure that most users are too lazy to fully close apps… they will “suffer” from this bug.

  • Only if your iPhone is unlocked (you’ve recently input your password). If your iPhone is locked it will only show you the photos that you’ve just taken with the camera.

  • I got the same result on my iPhone 4s. It doesn’t even show the previews of most of my apps. I don’t see how this is a big security flaw.

  • Stefan Vasiljevic

    I agree. Same here. We’ll maybe last screenshot could reveal some sensitive info. But again. Not a big deal.