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Apple promises to fix iOS 7 lock screen hack

A lock screen vulnerability in the new iOS 7 leaves users' e-mail, photos, Twitter, and other apps open to being used without permission.

The passcode lock screen on iOS 7 suffers from a bug that allows anyone with direct access to the iPhone or iPad to bypass the lock screen and open apps.

The bug, discovered by 36-year-old soldier Jose Rodriguez, who lives on the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain, is remarkably simple to exploit, reports Forbes. Swipe up from the lock screen to access the new Control Center, then open the alarm clock app.

Hold the phone's sleep button, but instead of swiping to power down the phone, tap cancel and double-tap the home button to access the multitasking screen. From there, you can jump to the camera and share stored photos, which gives you access to the user's communication accounts such as e-mail, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and others.

The exploit has been tested successfully on iOS 7 when running on the iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, and 5S, and the most recent iPad model.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment. However, an Apple spokesperson told Forbes and others that the company "takes security very seriously" and that it's "aware of this issue. We'll deliver a fix in a future software update."

Rodriguez has a knack for finding iOS lock screen hacks. Earlier this year he found vulnerabilities in the iOS 6.1.3 lock screen and a lock screen in a beta version of iOS 7. Apple fixed both, but this is a new one that he found "within an hour" of installing iOS 7 yesterday, Forbes wrote.

While many people probably appreciate Rodriguez's efforts because he discloses the hacks in a responsible manner, those who don't can breathe a sigh of relief: the soldier's new responsibilities, he tells Forbes, will keep him too busy to figure out ways to break the new version of iOS.