A security flaw allows anyone to access to photos and videos stored on iPhones running iOS 7, even with passcode lock enabled. With a few taps and swipes, anyone can access the iPhone’s camera roll and do what they wish with the contents. The iOS 7 security flaw also allows anyone to browse which apps the iPhone owner uses. The security flaw was first revealed to Forbes by Jose Rodriguez, a soldier that’s in the Canary Islands.
All a thief or nosy friend needs to do to bypass your passcode is to swipe up from the bottom of the screen and launch the clock app. Pressing the power button at the top of the iPhone brings up the option to power off the device. Pressing cancel rather than sliding to power off, then tapping the home button twice will bring up the iOS 7 multitasking interface. From there, you can clearly see which apps the iPhone’s owner has used recently. This might not sound like a big deal to some users, but it could reveal very personal information. For example, some users may not want anyone to know they’re using a diet app, ovulation tracker or disease-specific app.
As you can see in the above video, it is very easy to get past the passcode lock and access the iPhone’s camera roll. That’s an iPhone 5 in the above video, but the flaw’s also there in the iPhone 4s and iPad. We were able Switching to the iOS 7 camera app allows access to the camera roll and all the functionality you’d expect if you’d actually punched in the correct passcode. Photos and videos can be viewed, deleted and shared via AirDrop, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and iMessage. This has a lot of privacy implications, especially for those that take photos meant for private consumption.
Apple is aware of the issue and has promised a patch in the near future. Until then, you may want to disable control center on your iPhone’s lock screen.
This security flaw could potentially affect millions of iPhones that have already been upgraded to iOS 7 over the past couple of days. The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c run iOS 7.0.1, a slightly differnet variation than what’s currently available for download on older iPhones. We haven’t heard if the security flaw is present on the new phones. Regardless, we imagine Apple will patch this flaw in the coming days.