iOS 6.1 bug allows users to bypass passcode lock screen and access Phone app [UPDATED]

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: February 14, 2013

iPhone 4S passcode

Following reports of poor 3G performance for iPhone 4S owners after the iOS 6.1 update (which Apple recently addressed by bumping the 4S up to iOS 6.1.1), it appears that another bug has been discovered within iOS 6.1. As noted by YouTube user videosdebarraquito, the passcode screen on an iOS device can be bypassed using a combination of fake emergency calls and button presses, ultimately giving the person access to the Phone app and allowing them to view and edit contact information. A video demonstration of the bug is embedded below.

This actually isn't the first time that a bug has allowed a user to bypass an iOS lock screen, as a similar issue popped up in iOS 4.1. Considering that the Phone app is one of the more important parts of a handset, containing both the dialer and a bunch of contact information, this bug is rather serious and could allow someone to make calls, send texts and wreak havoc on your contact details if they're able to get a hold of your device and perform the steps necessary to bypass the lock screen. Apple has yet to respond to the bug, but when a similar issue was found in iOS 4.1, the company rolled out a fix with iOS 4.2 around a month later.

One iOS 6.1 issue that Apple has issued a response to is a bug relating to Microsoft Exchange. An issue has been found with iOS 6.1 that Apple says can cause "excessive communication with Microsoft Exchange server" when a user responds to an exception to a recurring calendar event. This could lead to the draining of an iDevice's juice as well as increased network activity, and could also get the device blocked by the server. Apple says that it plans to address the issue in an upcoming update. Until then, it advises users to avoid responding to exceptions to calendar events. If a user does run into this bug, Apple says to disable and then reenable the Exchange calendar to get things working smoothly again.

UPDATE: Apple has issued a statement on this passcode bypass bug, telling AllThingsD that it plans to patch the vulnerability in an upcoming software update. The company's full statement:

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

Via Gizmodo, videosdebarraquito on YouTube, Engadget, Apple, AllThingsD