New bug lets you unlock iPhone for calls

This is not the first time that Apple has had a problem with Passcode Lock

A bug in Apple's iPhone OS gives thieves a way to unlock stolen iPhones and make telephone calls.

The flaw was first reported late Friday on the MacRumors discussion forum and is very much like other, similar bugs discovered in iOS over the past few years. In an Internet video, one user shows how it works on a phone that requires a security passcode before it will work. By hitting the Emergency Call button and then tapping ###, Call, and then quickly hitting Lock, he is able to open up the iPhone's Phone program, look up the owner's contacts and make telephone calls to any phone number.

No other iPhone applications are accessible, however, so the bug can't be exploited to, say, send or read e-mail messages.

WebSense Security Manager Patrick Runald said he tried the hack on non-jailbroken versions of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS and found it worked on both products. In discussion forums, users say that the bug also affects jailbroken phones. It has apparently been fixed in the Beta 3 version of IOS 4.2.

This isn't the first time that Apple has had to deal with this type of bug.

Apple will fix the problem next month, according to company spokeswoman Trudy Muller. "We're aware of the issue and we will deliver a fix to our customers as part of the iOS 4.2 software update in November," she said.

Apple has already fixed Passcode Lock glitches twice this year, and two years ago the company also had to fix a similar bug. That patch was part of a January 2008 iPhone security update. For some reason the flaw resurfaced when Apple released the iPhone 2.0 a few months later, and Apple again had to issue a patch.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleconsumer electronicssecuritysmartphonesPhonesExploits / vulnerabilities

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?