How Siri Can Open the iPhone 4S to Attack

Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant on the new iPhone 4S, can look up restaurant menus for you, calculate the number of inches in a half mile, tell you the population of New Jersey, even let you know if it will rain this weekend in any city in the world. Unfortunately, Siri’s courtesy is not limited to her owner, and the convenience she provides actually leaves new iPhones open to attack.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for the security firm Sophos, found that a person can speak a command into an iPhone 4S, even one that is locked and protected with a passcode, and Siri will provide an answer. Not only that, but, as Cluley demonstrated on a friend’s iPhone, he was able to write an email and send a text message, all from the locked iPhone.

“If I had wanted to I could have meddled with his calendar appointments, too,” Cluley wrote on a Sophos blog.

The security foul-up stems from the way the iPhone 4S configures its passcode settings. The iPhone 4S provides users with the option to passcode-protect phones; Siri, however, is a separate entity, and by default, users are able to access it even when their phones are locked.

Cluley expressed his disappointment in Apple for making Siri accessible on locked phones by default. “They [Apple] could have chosen to implement Siri securely, but instead they decided to default to a mode which is more about impressing your buddies than securing your calendar and email system,” Cluley said.

Companies choosing default settings that compromise users’ security is of particular importance lately; Amazon has received criticism, and questions from Congress, over news that Silk, the Web browser in its soon-to-be-released Kindle Fire tablet, will collect customers’ browsing histories.

To prevent someone from accessing Siri and taking advantage of what you thought was your own private, personal assistant, go to the Passcode Lock screen and disable access to Siri on locked phones.

Article provided by SecurityNewsDaily, a sister site to Laptopmag.com.


LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE