iOS 6.1 hack lets users see your phone app, place calls

Some sleight of hand with Apple's iOS 6.1 has been illustrated in a YouTube video, and CNET can confirm it works.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Enter Passcode screen on iPhone 5
The Enter Passcode lock screen on an iPhone 5. Screenshot by Jon Skillings/CNET

Some sleight of hand will allow iOS 6.1 hackers to access your phone application, listen to your voice mails, and place calls.

A YouTube video showing users how to "bypass iPhone 5 passcode" on Apple's latest iOS releases, including iOS 6.1, has been published. The person who uploaded the video shows how anyone can access the phone application on a passcode-protected iPhone.

In order to achieve the hack, users must come close to turning off the iPhone, place an emergency call, and keep their finger on the power button. CNET was able to re-create the hack with ease, and the YouTube user who uploaded the video provided step-by-step directions.

"For prank[ing] your friends, for a magic show. Use it as you want, at your own risk, but...please...do not use this trick to do evil," "videosdebarraquito" posted on the YouTube page.

Apple said it is at work on a fix to the issue, but that it will require a software update.

"Apple takes user security very seriously," the company told CNET today. "We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update."

The video of the hack was actually published at the end of last month. However, it flew under the radar until The Verge discovered it earlier today.

Although the video and directions show how to sidestep Apple's simple passcode that allows users to input four numbers to unlock the device, CNET was able to conduct the same hack on Apple's more sophisticated passcode option that lets users input text.

Upon breaking into a device, users have the ability to listen to voice mails, place calls, and look through the handset's photos through the contacts section of the phone app. When trying to go elsewhere in the software, the user is sent back to the passcode screen. Still, there doesn't currently appear to be any immediate way to safeguard against the hack.

Updated at 12:52 p.m. PT with comment from Apple.