A new critical security flaw discovered in iOS 8 and newer (including 10.2 beta 3) allows anyone to bypass iPhone’s passcode and gain access to personal information by just using Apple’s personal assistant Siri. It doesn’t matter if you configured Touch ID or not but still this flaw will help the attackers bypass your passcode and access your personal photos and messages.
All an attacker need is to know the phone number of the target’s iPhone and access to the phone for a few minutes. However even if you don’t know the target’s phone number just hold down the home button of target’s iPhone to activate Siri and simply ask “Who am I?” Siri will reply you with the phone number it is using.
How Does This Work:
- After you know the target’s phone number call on his/her iPhone -starting a FaceTime call will also do it.
- Now, targets iPhone screen will show a message icon, just click on “Message icon” and then “Custom Message” to go to the New Message screen where you are allowed to type a reply.
- Now activate Siri by long-pressing the Home button and say “Turn on Voice Over“, and Siri will turn it on.
- Go back to the message screen and double tap the bar where you are required to enter the caller’s name and then hold, while immediately click on the keyboard. This may not succeed in the first time, so repeat this step until you see a slide-in effect on the iPhone’s screen above the keyboard.
- Now active Siri and say “Turn off VoiceOver“, come back to messages and simply type in the first letter of a caller’s name in the top bar, tap ⓘ icon next to it, and then create a new contact.
- Next, you can select add photo and choose a photo. After this you are in and can look at the victim’s photo gallery just like you are browsing the phone, even though the iPhone is still in the locked state.
- You can select any contact on the iPhone, and you would be able to see all previous conversations of the target with that contact.
Below is the video performing the hack successfully.
Protecting Yourself From This Flaw:
Go to the Settings → Touch ID & Passcode and Disable Siri on the Lockscreen by toggling the switch to disable.
Once disabled, you will only be able to use Siri after you have unlocked your iOS device using the passcode or your fingerprint. However Apple is aware of this flaw and working on to fix this, so iPhone users can expect a fix in the next full version of iOS 10.2.
Alternatively method: You can just remove Photos access from Siri. To do so, go to Settings → Privacy → Photos and then prevent Siri from accessing pictures.