A bug in the iPhone 12.0.1 operating system allows someone with physical access to a phone to bypass the password setting.
It’s a relatively complex hack in that it requires 10 steps to complete it but that said once learnt its easy repeated.
If someone uses the hack to physically access the phone they can see your photo album, select photos and send them to anyone, using the Messages function.
This could clearly be anyone one, a jilted partner, angry spouse, curious friend, hacking inclined teens, flat mate and so on.
Instructions on how to exploit the hack are already ‘out there’ so for your knowledge, here is how it’s done:
- You call the target iPhone from any other phone
- Don't answer the call by picking it up, rather tap on ‘Messages’ and tap on ‘Custom’ to reply via text message
- Type any word in the text message box
- Ask Siri to enable Voice Over, a service for sight-impaired users
- Tap on the camera icon
- Turn on Siri with the iPhone's home button and at the same time double-tap the phone's screen (if it doesn’t work repeat a few times)
- When the screen is black, swipe your finger on the screen to the top left corner. Voice Over will read aloud what you have selected. Keep swiping until Voice Over reads ‘Photo Library’.
- Double tap on the screen to select Photo Library. This will take you back to the message screen, but you'll see a blank space in the place of the keyboard. It is actually an invisible Photo Library.
- Now swipe your finger up to Voice Over which will read aloud the characteristics of each photo.
- Double-tapping on a photo will display it while adding the picture to the text box, which you can then send to any number.
Don’t even ask how someone figured this out but if you are even the slightest bit paranoid you can disable Siri, which makes the hack redundant.
The following Apple phones support iOS 12:
- iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X
The following iPads support iOS 12:
- iPad Air 1, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro (12.9, 2015), iPad Pro (9.7), iPad 2017, iPad Pro (10.5), iPad Pro (12.9, 2017), iPad 2018
- This list also includes iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4
- iOS 12 also runs on the sixth generation iPod touch
iOS 12 is designed to make your iPhone and iPad experience faster and more responsive.
If you’ve applied updates from Apple recently you’ll be running iOS 12.0.1
It’s a new operating system and an update was issued October 8.
The update was too early to catch this bug but keep an eye out for further updates from Apple which should fix it.