iOS 7 Lock Screen Vulnerability Gives Access to Photos, Email

There appears to be a lock screen vulnerability in iOS 7 that allows access to a device’s photos, email, and social networking accounts. According to Jose Rodriguez, who provided a video of the bug to Forbes, a simple set of gestures gives unwarranted access to a device running iOS 7.

The exploit can be initiated by swiping upwards on the device's lock screen to access the Control Center and open the Clock app. Once the clock app is open, holding the phone's sleep button will cause the "Slide to Power Off" option to appear. Tapping on cancel at this juncture and then double clicking on the home button will open the phone's multitasking screen, providing access to the camera and the photos on the device. The key to the trick, however, is to access the camera app from the lock screen first, causing it to appear in the recently used apps list.

Because the photos from the camera app can be shared via Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and email, an intruder can also gain access to those apps using the sharing tools.

I tested the technique on an iPhone 5 running iOS 7, and it worked. Rodriguez’s video shows it working on an iPad, too. It’s not yet clear if the same exploit can bypass the lockscreen of an iPhone 5s or 5c, but Rodriguez tells me he believes it will. I’ve reached out to Apple for comment and I’ll update this post if I hear from the company.

Apple has been plagued by lock screen vulnerabilities multiple times over the course of the year, with a bug appearing in iOS 6.1 that allowed lock screen access to the phone when the emergency call function was manipulated.

The current iOS 7 vulnerability can be avoided by preventing the Control Center from appearing on the lock screen. The setting can be turned on by opening the Settings app, selecting "Access on Lock Screen" and toggling it off.

Update: Apple has told AllThingsD that it is working on a fix.

"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."

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
92 months ago
I've always wondered how people stumble upon these vulnerabilities, then turn around and are even able to recreate them.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago
Here we go again....

One of the reasons I wait a week or two before upgrading.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago

ive been trying to get this to happen, cant make it work on my 5.


That's because you forgot to put your left index finger in your right ear....:confused:
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago

I've always wondered how people stumble upon these vulnerabilities, then turn around and are even able to recreate them.


Often just by playing around. Sometimes playing around leads to one thing which causes you to realize "Wait, what if I do this too?" and, whoops, you've stumbled on a path that nobody ever expected.

Then you realize you're in the "bad" state (I can see photos and I'm not supposed to be able to!) and the next step is to try to recreate the actions that got you there, until you distill it down to exactly what the problem is.

Then you file a problem report to the software guys and they can fix it...

Locking down software is kind of like locking down a physical room. It's easy to set up the obvious stuff -- put locks on the doors and windows -- but then you have to start thinking about the more far-fetched scenarios. What if you gained access to the boiler room, then snuck up through the ceiling tile? What if someone manages to find the spare key to the lock that you left in the bedroom? Thorough testing, and/or reports from accidental discoveries like this, are what's needed to plug up all the holes.

Do people have nothing better to do than to try and find ways to break iOS?


No software is perfect. Don't you want them to find the flaws so they can be fixed quickly?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago
Do people have nothing better to do than to try and find ways to break iOS?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago

Mine still says up to date..... Is that a 5?

7.0.1 is 5S and 5C only. That picture is clearly a 5S. Look at the home button.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

Upcoming Xbox App Update Will Let Xbox Users Stream Games to iPhone and iPad

Friday September 25, 2020 11:58 am PDT by
Microsoft is testing a new version of its Xbox app that will let Xbox users play games remotely on their iPhones and iPads using streaming functionality. The new feature was rolled out to TestFlight users this morning. The Xbox streaming option is distinct from Microsoft's xCloud service, which it has been clashing with Apple over. xCloud is designed to stream games from Microsoft's servers, ...

Microsoft Internally Worked on a Mac OS X Aqua Inspired Windows XP Theme

Saturday September 26, 2020 10:51 am PDT by
Microsoft tested a Windows XP theme that closely resembled Mac OS X's Aqua GUI, reports The Verge. A recent Windows XP source code leak has revealed various unreleased themes that Microsoft developed in 2000, at a time when Microsoft was in heated competition with Apple regarding desktop operating systems. One of the themes, codenamed "Candy," mirrors the design of Apple's Aqua...

Video Offers Closer Look at Apple Face Mask

Friday September 25, 2020 5:25 am PDT by
YouTube channel Unbox Therapy has today shared a new video giving a closer look at Apple's reusable face masks for corporate and retail employees. Apple's own face mask was designed by the company's Engineering and Industrial Design teams amid the global health crisis for corporate and retail employees, and the boxes include Apple's famous "Designed by Apple in California" text. The...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...