Apple pledges fix for iOS 7 lockscreen security vulnerability


Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) confirmed it is working to resolve a security vulnerability in its new iOS 7 mobile operating system update enabling anyone to bypass the device lockscreen to access photos, email, social media accounts and other personal data.

The vulnerability, first identified by Spanish soldier Jose Rodriguez and confirmed by Forbes and other publications, allows hackers and thieves to swipe upward on an iPhone lockscreen to access the device's Control Center and open the alarm clock. Holding down the sleep button presents the option to turn off the smartphone with a swipe--however, tapping "Cancel" and then double-clicking the home button instead allows entrance to the iPhone's multitasking screen, which includes the camera, stored photos and options for sharing those images, essentially granting intruders unfettered access to the device owner's email, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter and Flickr accounts.

Apple confirmed the vulnerability. "Apple takes user security very seriously," spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD. "We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update."

iPhone owners may protect themselves in the interim by disabling access to Control Center from the device lockscreen, a process that involves accessing the Settings tab, selecting "Control Center" and switching off the "Access on Lock Screen" option.

Apple rolled out iOS 7 to consumers Wednesday. The revamp signals the elimination of skeuomorphism, the longstanding iOS design aesthetic that leverages real-world images and metaphors like linen-textured backgrounds, wooden bookshelves and spiral-bound notebooks. iOS 7 also heralds the launch of multitasking for all apps, AirDrop wireless file sharing and the iTunes Radio streaming music service.

For more:
- read this Forbes article
- read this AllThingsD article

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