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iOS 7 Lockscreen Exploit Lets Anyone Gain Access To Your Photos (Update)

by Brandon Russell | September 19, 2013September 19, 2013 3:00 pm PST

Apple’s iOS 7 has finally rolled out to consumers, and already vulnerabilities are being discovered. According to Jose Rodriguez, who first discovered the long, cumbersome process, it’s possible for someone to bypass your password-protected lockscreen and gain access to your photos—all of them. Hopefully you have nothing to hide.

The method is a little longwinded, and requires multiple steps in order to be successful. But the main issue is that it works—hopefully Apple patches it up quick, but growing pains are always expected when a completely new operating system hits. The method is easily achieved on current iPhones, but there’s no word on whether it’ll work on an iPhone 5s protected by Touch ID.

Here are the steps:

  • Swipe up on the locked phone to get to the control panel
  • Open the stopwatch app
  • Go over to alarm clock
  • Hold the power button until you get the “Power down” prompt
  • Hit cancel, and then immediately hit the home button twice (hold the second click a little longer)

Once you do that, multitasking should pull up, where you can then jump into the camera app and then into that device’s photos. If the camera wasn’t already up, folks are saying to just pull the camera up from the lockscreen, and then perform the above steps. Voila! Once you do have access to someone’s photo album (or your own?), you can then share through email, Twitter, iMessage, etc. Not good.

Of course, the exploit can easily be avoided by off turning Control Center access of from the lockscreen, which you can access in Settings. It’s highly unlikely a thief will be clever enough to bypass your passcoded phone with such a method, but the exploit’s existence is still troubling. It’s only been a day since iOS 7 was rolled out to consumers, but hopefully Apple can come up with a swift fix.

Update: Well, not surprisingly, Apple has already released a statement on the lockscreen issue. “Apple takes user security very seriously,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD. “We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update.”


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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