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Bypassing Your Passcode: How Can an Online Hack leak Your data

You store some of your most private data on your phone. Personal photos, contacts, relevant emails, private text messages – a treasure of personal data which is stored on a small device. and so you lock it. For iOS users, in particular, this can be done in a number of ways – passwords, biometric, etc. But, a new issue was discovered this week in iOS software that allows cybercriminals to bypass all obstacles, giving them the solution to unlock any security users of iOS 8, 9, and 10 have on their phones.

The bypass is simple: 

Siri and the accessibility feature in iOS called VoiceOver get tricked, and all passcodes and biometric ID barriers get sidestepped. But how exactly does this trick work?
Discovered by EverythingApplePro and iDeviceHelp, the hack takes advantage of the software vulnerability with just a few steps. All the attacker has to do is find out the victim’s phone number by simply asking Siri “Who am I?”, call the number, and manipulate the options on the phone call screen. From there, they can use the “add new contact” capability to add a new photo for the number calling the phone and therefore access your photos. This means the cybercriminal can scroll your entire photo gallery and view your personal memories. They can also access your entire contact list at that point and see all previous text messages with a contact.
And just like that, they can access and obtain any personal information desired, all thanks to Siri. Sadly, that personal information could be sensitive to compromise by anyone with a YouTube account, as this hack was posted there for all eyes to see.
With this bug going viral, the best step is to stay careful. Though this may occur without saying, it’s important to hold your device in your own hands. Make sure your phone is always in vision. But beyond this simple reminder, here are a few more tips on how to secure your iPhone from this hack:

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Turn off Siri. 

At least til this bug gets patched, the simplest way to stay safe is to disable Siri on the lock screen. Just go to your settings and go to Siri > Access on Lock Screen and toggle the switch to turn it off.

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Install all available updates. 

This bug, like past bugs, will get patched. The fix will most likely be available in the newest iOS update – so whenever there's a new update available, quickly install it.

Lost or stolen phone? Track it down. 

The attacker can only hack into your phone if they get their hands on it. So in case they do, make sure you can track it down immediately and correctly with anti-theft protection like the one included in McAfee Mobile Security. This will help secure your device from malicious people when it's not with you.

And, of course, stay on top of the latest mobile security threats by following me on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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