A YouTube video showing viewers how to hack into an iPhone 5 running iOS 6.1 recently went up.
The video, uploaded by the user “Videosdebarraquito,” was first posted in January, but got little attention until it was highlighted by The Verge. It’s garnered over 23,000 views so far, but that number is likely to increase after the hack makes the rounds in the tech press.
The hack consists of starting an emergency call on the victim’s iPhone, then manipulating the power button and the dialer.
When this is done, the user has access to the victim’s voicemail and the ability to place calls using the victim’s phone and rifle through a user’s photos – even on a phone protected by a passcode.
Despite the disturbing implications of this hack, the uploader insists that it is merely a prank.
“Use it as you want, at your own risk, but...please...do not use this trick to do evil!!!” Videosdebarraquito wrote in the YouTube video description. The user suggests using the hack to play pranks on friends and for magic shows.
Stunts like these show the increasing need for mobile users to take security seriously. As BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) becomes more popular, and the line between personal use and business use of mobile devices blurs, a security breach on a smartphone could play havoc with a business’s confidential information.
Stonesoft has advised users to take steps to ensure the security of their mobile devices, including keeping the operating system updated, using encryption and being careful when installing apps.
Now that the iPhone hack has been publicized, it appears that it will be only a matter of time before Apple issues a patch fixing the vulnerability in iOS. Until then, iPhone 5 owners would do well to never let their phones out of their sight, especially if their friends like to play pranks on them.
Edited by Braden Becker