Unlock Someone’s Locked iPad2 With… A Fridge Magnet??

| October 22, 2011 | Reply

Apparently, yes you can.  The folks at 9to5Mac discovered this little flaw earlier this week.  Turns out that after the iOS5 update, the magnetic sensor that Apple included to work with their Smart Covers and other accessories can be exploited by almost any magnetic object.  9to5Mac actually used a Smart Cover for their video demonstration, but then MSNBC Tech picked up the story and found that the same thing could be accomplished using a refrigerator magnet.

This is how the exploit works:

1. With the iPad2 locked, hold down the power button until the “Slide to unlock” graphic appears.

2. Slide the magnet along the right edge of the screen until it dims briefly, then press the “cancel” button.

After that, you now have access to whatever app was open when the iPad2 was locked – email, photos, contacts, etc.  If no app was running at the time it was locked, you won’t be able to open any apps, but you will have access to the Spotlight search, allowing you to effectively search emails, messages, and other apps on the device.

Somewhat of a security concern, to say the least.  Obviously Apple is aware of the glitch, and should be working on a patch as we speak.  Until then, thankfully there is a workaround – jump into the “General” tab under Settings and disable the “iPad Cover Lock/Unlock” feature.

For 9to5Mac’s original story, click http://9to5mac.com/2011/10/20/anyone-with-a-smart-cover-can-break-into-your-ipad-2/

For MSNBC’s write-up: http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/21/8430548-fridge-magnet-poses-security-threat-to-ipad-2

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Tech News

About the Author ()

I’m a 23-year old from the Twin Cities. Used to work for Verizon, currently work for Sprint. Love anything and everything tech-related, especially cell phones, especially Android.