New iPhone ‘hack’ lets users bypass the lockscreen


An Apple staff member demonstrates a new Verizon iPhone 4 at Verizon's iPhone 4 launch event in New York, in this file picture taken January 11, 2011. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

There’s a new YouTube video making the rounds that teaches iPhone users — and those who want to cause some trouble for iPhone users — how to get around the lockscreen in the latest version of Apple’s iOS operating system.

Posted late last month, the video was picked up on tech blogs Thursday and shows a pretty complicated process that involves making an emergency call and hitting the power button in a certain sequence. It’s hardly the kind of thing you’d expect someone to do when just fooling around with a phone, but it is troubling that anyone can get past the lockscreen with no special tools and gain access to the phone’s core systems.

The “hack” gives users access to the iPhone’s calling features, meaning they can make calls, listen to recent voice mails and look at the contacts list but can’t get into other features on the device.

Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller said Thursday afternoon: “Apple takes user security very seriously. We are aware of this issue and will deliver a fix in a future software update.” The company has addressed past vulnerabilities with software updates.

Apple has run into a couple of issues with the latest version of its operating system, saying on Thursday that it will update its software to fix a bug that was affecting calendar events on Microsoft Exchange accounts.

The company recently pushed out an update for its phones to address a 3G network problem many of its European consumers were having — so many, in fact, that carrier Vodafone told users not to upgrade their operating systems at all.

The carrier said Monday that users should download the latest version of Apple’s software — 6.1.1 — and that the issue had been resolved.

Related stories:

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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