How to bypass the iPhone passcode (15 Feb 2013)

iPhone users, I hope you’re listening.

This is not a complete unlocking of the phone – instead, some sort of bug/race condition that tricks the phone into giving you access to the contacts and phone application. People have reported this working with an iPhone 5 with iOS 6.01, 6.02 and 6.1.

I can confirm this is working on an iPhone 4S with iOS 6.1.1

Update 21 Feb 2013: Confirmed still working with iOS v6.1.2 (10B146).

Update 19 Mar 2013: Fixed with iOS v6.1.3 (10B329) – After a month of publication Apple has finally fixed the issue.

What this means is that anyone with physical access to your locked phone can

  • Make phone calls from your phone
  • Manipulate the call history to hide their calls
  • See who you have been calling and who has been calling you
  • View/modify your contacts
  • Listen to your voicemail messages
  • Potentially change your voicemail greeting and other settings.

There is nothing you can do right now, other than be extra vigilant about leaving your phone lying about. The takeaway message here is that your iPhone’s passcode does not protect it as much as you would expect.

Source: videosdebarraquito on YouTube

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Opting out of personalised ads: iOS6

If you have an iPhone or iPad and have upgraded to iOS6, you will have clicked through the Terms and Conditions that come with the latest release of Apple’s mobile operating system.
Somewhere along the middle of the impressively long Terms and Conditions document that all of us read and understand before clicking the obligatory “Agree”, I noticed this little gem:

Internet-Based Advertising: Apple may provide mobile, interest-based advertising to you. If you do not want to receive relevant ads on your iOS Device, you can opt out by going to this link on your iOS Device: http://oo.apple.com . If you opt out, you will continue to receive the same number of mobile ads, but they may be less relevant because they will not be based on your interests. You may still see ads related to the content on a web page or in an application or based on other non-personal information. This opt-out applies only to Apple advertising services and does not affect interest-based advertising from other advertising networks.

Visiting http://oo.apple.com from my iPhone pops up this message:

Never realised my phone had such an application. “Open” takes me to the following page, where I can turn “Interest Based iAds” ON or OFF.

I went for OFF, and then insisted by clicking the big scary red button that says “Opt Out”:

(Surprisingly, when you opt-in, there is no confirmation dialog)

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to limit Apple’s use of your device’s unique Advertising Identifier.

Go to Settings -> General -> About -> Advertising and there turn “Limit Ad Tracking” to ON:

The above are touched upon in the following Apple Knowledge Base article: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT4228

Now tell your friends about this easy way to give Apple the message that you don’t particularly like being tracked by your own device and used for behavioural advertising. Do not track us!