Researchers bypass Activation Lock in Apple’s Latest iOS 10.1.1 Version (video)

With Touch ID becoming fairly simple to use on your iPhones, the Activation Lock can be said to be used as a last resort security feature if your fingerprint isn’t being recognized due to some bug. It allows users to remotely lock their device and delete their sensitive data in case the iPhone or iPad is stolen or misplaced. However, now it seems that even the Activation Lock in Apple’s latest iOS version is not safe. Researchers have managed to bypass the Activation Lock on the iPhone while it was running iOS 10.1.1, which is the latest software version from Apple for iPhones and iPads.

Way back in October, security researcher Hemanth Joseph was able to crack the Activation Lock on an iPad by entering extremely long strings of characters in all fields of the Wi-Fi setup. This made iOS freeze and, when combined with opening and closing of the iPad’s Smart Cover, gave Joseph access to the device’s home screen.

However, Apple definitely caught the attention of this little workaround and managed to close the loophole with the official release of iOS 10.1.1, but security researchers have managed to scale the security ladder once more. Allegedly, the loophole was later fixed by Apple with the release of iOS 10.1.1, but another researcher managed to bypass it anyway. Benjamin Kunz Mejri of Vulnerability Lab managed to recreate the issue by tweaking the method a little bit. In addition to using the Smart Cover of the tablet, he utilized screen rotation to achieve the same effect, thus gaining access to the home screen.

However, it should be noted that this little trick only managed to give Benjamin a brief window of opportunity to strike. He states that the brief window was more than enough, as he claims that it can be prolonged by clicking the home button in that small window of time. Therefore, the Activation Lock can still be bypassed with relative ease, and Apple should definitely take a look at this once they prep their newest software update for iPhones and iPads.


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