Friday, Apple released their new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.  Of course lots of people lined up to buy one, but Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS 7, happens to include a pretty major security bug.  With only a few button presses, you can bypass the security password lock and biometric security.  It takes about 11 seconds.  That’s like having a safe with a combination lock, but anyone can open it by knocking the side of it in the right spot.  Forbes has a video that shows how easy it is.  The 11 seconds between 0:55-1:06 is all that’s required.  LookOutMobile has another video with a better description of the security hole along with a demo about how you can access all of the data in the user’s phonebook.  (They’ll also show you how to disable the control center that enables this loophole as well.)   If you lose your iPhone even for a few minutes, it would be pretty easy for anyone to pick it up, start taking fun photos, send them to everyone you know, and even get phone numbers of people you know.  You can actually make phone calls to anyone even more easily while the iPhone is locked.

Apple has had problems like this before though.  It was similarly easy to bypass security on iOS 6 and iOS 6.1 and iOS 6.1.3.  When Apple does something like this (again), how does the press react?  That’s right, a Google News search will get you articles like: “OS 7: readers tips on hidden iPhone and iPad features“, “Gold iPhone sold out til October“, “Early iPhone customers clamor for new colors, fingerprint sensor, better camera“, and “Throngs Greet Apple’s Newest iPhones, Gold Color Sells out“.  If you dig a little deeper, you might find headlines like: “Apple says it’s working on fix for iOS 7 lockscreen bypass flaw“, “Apple promises to fix iOS 7 lock screen hack” and “How to Safeguard Your Device from iOS 7’s Lock Screen Bypass Bug

Sounds like it’s not a big deal, right?  Does everyone actually not care about securing their phones?  Is it because nobody uses iPhones for any kind of sensitive information?  How would the press react if Microsoft made such a glaring error in the security of the much less popular and much less widely-used Windows Phone?

Photo: Brisbane Times

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