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Watch out: lock screen security flaw found in iOS 9

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iOS 9 was released last week, and it’s mostly been a huge success: 50% of iPhone users had the update within just five days of release, and it’s been broadly praised for a host of small-scale improvements. But what’s a big iOS release without a few teething problems? A security flaw has been found that allows access to personal data on a locked iPhone or iPad – here’s what you need to know.

The security loophole can bypass the lock screen passcode to get access to Photos, Contacts and Messages. The trick involves a lot of messing around with incorrect passcodes and Siri requests to open up the Clock app, which can then allow limited access to other apps through the sharing panel. The bug affects devices locked with a numeric passcode, with or without Touch ID enabled.

A video demonstrating the flaw has been posted in the hopes of raising awareness so people can watch out for it, and so that Apple can take action. The coverage it’s getting (including from us) will no doubt lead to a few tricksters trying the loophole out for themselves on unsuspected friends.

Well, now you can be a suspecting friend. To stop the flaw from working, make sure to turn off lock screen Siri access by going to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and switching off Siri from the ‘allow access when locked’ section. This will keep your device safe from tech-savvy prying eyes until Apple release an official fix.

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