Excited by your shiny new iPhone? Pity it’s still prone to an old lock-screen workaround • DigitalMunition – Digitalmunition

News Excited by your shiny new iPhone? Pity it's still prone to an old lock-screen workaround • The Register

Published on September 13th, 2019 📆 | 2030 Views ⚑


Excited by your shiny new iPhone? Pity it’s still prone to an old lock-screen workaround • DigitalMunition

Apple’s latest iOS build appears to have the same sort of lock-screen workarounds that plagued previous versions of the iPhone firmware.

Researcher Jose Rodriguez told DigitalMunition that back in July he discovered how the then-beta versions of iOS 13 could be tricked into showing contact details without ever having to unlock the screen.

The procedure, demonstrated below in a video, involves the trick of receiving a call and opting to respond with a custom text message, then changing the “to” field of the message (accomplished via voice-over in the video). The “to” field pulls up the user’s contacts, thus giving an unauthorized user the ability to crawl a person’s contacts without ever needing to actually unlock the phone.

Youtube Video

Similar unlock workarounds have been demonstrated by Rodriguez and other researchers in the past.

These sort of information disclosure bugs are generally considered low-risk security flaws and are not quite at the level of critical vulnerabilities that allow remote code execution or one-touch pwnage flaws that bring seven-figure payouts from some platforms.

Still, you would think the discovery would at least net some sort of acknowledgement and reward from Apple. Rodriguez tells The Reg that when he contacted Apple staff about the find, he was given the cold shoulder.


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“I contacted Apple asking for a gift in thanks for reporting a passcode bypass, Apple agreed to give me a gift,” Rodriguez recounts.

“I reported the security problem and then Apple retracted, apologized and told me that it was not allowed to thank by giving gifts for security reports during beta period.”

The “gift” in question? A $1 Apple Store card to keep as a trophy. It was not the monetary payout Rodriguez was interested in, rather the recognition from Apple for his latest find.

Not only that, but Rodriguez says that, despite reporting the issue back in July, his bypass method still works on the most recent gold builds of iOS 13. We’ll have to see if the final product still suffers the issue.

Apple has yet to comment on the matter. ®

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