iPhone Lock Screen Easily Hacked In iOS 12

Detail of the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max smartphone model by Apple Computers close up of golden Apple iPhone mobile phone device on reflective yellow technology background
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Since its launch, Apple’s iPhone has been touted as one of the most secure devices on the market, so eyebrows are always raised when it’s shown how easily hackable the phone has been just after the release of the latest version of iOS, according to reports from Mashable.

A YouTube video released in the past week has touted that it is possible to get past the iPhone’s lock screen without knowing the password if the device is running iOS 12, allowing potential hackers to access the contacts and photos on the phone.

The man behind the video is Jose Rodriguez, a security researcher. It’s not a simple maneuver, needing a combination of enabling the Voiceover feature through Siri, then sending a text from another phone to the device. By double-tapping the phone at the perfect moment you can access features that should be locked. The features are originally impossible to view behind a white screen, but by swiping, the contacts of the phone can be accessed. A slightly more convoluted process can give a hacker access to the photos saved on the device.

While the original video is in Spanish and done on an iPhone 8, EverythingApplePro created a video where the hack was done on an iPhone XS Max. It appears that the hack is done through the new iOS 12 and can be done on any device that runs the operating system.

It’s not a hack that can be done unless the hacker actually has the phone in their possession, making your new phone safe as long as you keep it on your person. The hack also is simple enough that it won’t give an aspirational hacker anything other than the contacts and photos of the phone, but those two features provide some of the most serious security risks on the phone.

A report by Naked Security reveals that it is possible to defend against this hack by disabling Siri from accessing your phone’s lock screen. The report reveals that this can be done through Settings > Face ID & Passcode.

Hacking the lock screen of the iPhone has been something of a pastime for Rodriguez. In 2016, Mashable covered Rodriguez’s video where he was able to bypass the lock screen of iOS 9.3.1. Rodriguez’s YouTube page shows that the talented hacker’s exploits date back to at least 2011, with the first iOS he was able to hack being the iOS 5.1 on the iPhone 4.