A fairly major security flaw has already been discovered in the newly released iOS 7, which means anyone who has hold of your iPhone can bypass the lock screen to access your photos and contacts.
Apple knows of the flaw. The company has told Forbes, which initially reported the issue, that it will “deliver a fix in a future software update”.
The security flaw was discovered by Jose Rodriguez, a soldier from the Canary Islands who has previously discovered how to bypass the lock screen in older versions of iOS. Wired.co.uk has replicated the process outlined by Rodriguez on an iPhone 4 running iOS 7 and that found it’s possible to access through the camera app any of photos or videos stored on the phone. From there it is possible to share them on any social media accounts linked to the phone or by text message. When attempting to send a picture by text, the whole of the phone’s contact list can also be accessed.
If you want to test the flaw for yourself, start by swiping up to access the control center from the lock screen. From there enter the stopwatch/alarm clock app and hold down the sleep button until the iPhone asks if you want to turn it off. Hit cancel and immediately double tap the home button, with a slight hold on the second press. This will take you into the iPhone’s multitasking screen, which you can scroll through — although none of the information on the actual panels will be visible. Similarly, none of the app icons on the bottom of the screen will respond if you tap them, with the exception of the camera app, which you can enter at will.
The simple fix for this is to go into Settings, head to the Control Center and disable “Access on Lock Screen”.
Obviously this is far from ideal, as it means you have no access to the Control Center from the lock screen, but as quick fixes go, it’s the best way to keep any iPhone secure until Apple releases an official software patch.