Think your iPhone's lock screen is keeping your information safe from prying eyes? It might not be.
That's if a new video is to be believed, in which YouTube user videosdebarraquito shows off a sequence of steps and begins to use a "locked" iPhone, running iOS 6.1, in under a minute.
The process involves a somewhat bizarre procedure, including an aborted emergency call, the passcode screen and simultaneous presses of the home button and the power button.
After carrying out the commands, notes ZDNet, the newly hacked iPhone allows an interloper to access contacts and photos, make calls and review call logs. Fortunately, an iPhone hacked via this process doesn't appear to offer access to its home screen or any of the apps that live on the home screen.
Reached for comment by The Huffington Post, an Apple spokesperson added, "Apple takes user security very seriously. We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update.”
At this point in time, it isn't clear whether the iPhone lock screen hack works on all phones running 6.1, but commenters on YouTube have indicated their ability to replicate it on an iPhone 4S and an iPhone 4, both running iOS 6.1.
HuffPost Tech columnist Jason Gilbert, using an iPhone 5 running iOS 6.1, got the hack to work, but only after several failed attempts. Two other HuffPost editors, however, were not successful.
The Verge successfully performed the hack on two iPhone 5s in the U.K. (see video above), and the original hack seems to have been performed on an iPhone 5 in Spain.
In 2011, researchers uncovered a method to circumvent an iPhone's lock screen in under 6 minutes, thereby gaining access to every function of the phone. Unlike the current method, however, that process was far more intricate and involved hacking the cryptographic key to reveal passwords in the phone's "keychain."
Should this new bug prove to be a widespread problem, Apple will undoubtedly issue a patch. Either way, it seems the safest way to protect your data is to never misplace your phone in the first place.
(Hat tip, Gizmodo)