Apple released iOS 15 to the general public earlier this week. Early trends have shown that the iOS 15 adoption rate is slower than iOS 14, but that might just be a blessing in disguise for Apple as a Spanish security researcher has found a way to bypass the Lock Screen on the iOS 15 public release build. The researcher named Jose Rodriguez has posted a video on YouTube showing how a person can break into, or bypass, an iPhone running iOS 15 and access notes and make calls by leveraging a combination of VoiceOver, Apple’s Share Sheet tool, and some pre-written text.
Rodriguez says he published the video on YouTube “in the hopes Apple realizes that is being tightwad rewarding security bug reports, and reconsider the bounties.” He says that he reported similar vulnerabilities (CVE-2021-1835 and CVE-2021-30699) in iOS 14 in April and May. Apple was, however, quick to patch them, and paid Rodriguez $25,000 and $5,000 for reporting the two vulnerabilities. But, the security researcher claims that Apple just “mitigated” the issues he reported and never fully fixed them.
In order to bring attention to the vulnerability, Rodriguez has now published a video on YouTube showing a similar exploit still exists in the iOS 15 stable release. He even says that the vulnerability exists in iOS 14.8 stable release. Rodriguez has not reported this exploit to Apple before publishing the video.
The video shows Rodriguez using built-in iOS tools, such as Siri, VoiceOver, Share Sheet, Quick Notes in Control Center, and Message during Call to bypass the Lock Screen on iOS 15. The bypass is indeed difficult to implement and doesn’t work with protected Notes. However, the vulnerability still exists in the stable release even when Apple was notified of a similar exploit in previous iOS releases as well.