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Uh-Oh: Strangers Can Access Your New iPhone 4S Even if Passcode-Protected


"I'm sure you can imagine some of the ways this could potentially be abused."

Smartphone security is now reaching the same level of importance as personal computers, with experts emphasizing the necessity of setting passwords to lock the phone from outside users. But if you own an iPhone, your password could be bypassed and information given by none other than Apple's newest craze: Siri.

Siri, iPhone 4S's personal, voice-activated assistant, answers almost any question and can complete almost any task you throw at it. But it has recently been found that Siri can also be used when your iPhone is in a locked mode.

Graham Cluley over at Naked Security (via Slashgear), the blog of the security company Sophos, reports his personal experience that led to this discovery:

I borrowed a passcode-locked iPhone 4S from a colleague here at Sophos and, with his permission, was able to write an email, and send a text message. If I had wanted to I could have meddled with his calendar appointments too.

All without having to enter the passcode. I'm sure you can imagine some of the ways this could potentially be abused.

There is a way to lock Siri, Cluley reports, however, to make sure this doesn't happen. Go to "Settings," "General," and then "Passcode." From there turn the "Siri" option off.

SMMobiles also notes that the fact Siri works without unlocking the phone also opens the door to butt-siri-ing, like butt or purse dialing (where users accidentally dial someone without knowing it) but with Siri.

Watch Sophos' video to understand why you should have a passcode in the first place:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/R64ZOhcKNn4?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]

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