Smart Cover flaw can bypass password-protected iPad 2's

It looks as though another security flaw has been discovered in relation to iOS devices. This one allows anyone with an Apple made Smart Cover to bypass a users password-protected iPad 2 and possibly gain access to personal information.

According to 9to5 Mac, the flaw occurs on iOS 5, but may also be working on earlier versions of iOS 4.3. The flaw allows anyone with a Smart Cover to unlock the iPad 2 very easily, once they have done so, they will have access to anything that you had on screen when your iPad 2 went into sleep mode.

As the article states, this could be confidential e-mail, messages, contact details and more, though if it opens up on the main home screen, you will only be able to view a persons apps and not run any. It also looks like you can delete applications, which means that personal data could be destroyed too.

Recreating the flaw is easy according to the site:

  1. Lock a password protected iPad 2
  2. Hold down power button until iPad 2 reaches turn off slider
  3. Close Smart Cover
  4. Open Smart Cover
  5. Click cancel on the bottom of the screen

Currently the only way to stop this from happening is to disable Smart Cover unlocking via the settings in iOS. We doubt it will be long before Apple fixes this issue.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

PlayStation 3 may have been jailbroken again

Next Story

Orange VP: Windows Phone future is up to Nokia

33 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

theres a slight mess up similar to this on the iphone 4s, doesnt allow home screen entry more so just a malfunction of the ios,
1. double tap home button
2. open camera
3. open view more photo's
4. hold down the lock button till slide to power off appears
5. double tap home button
6. press cancel, then cancel again
now it will show either ipod feature on its on whilst locked or if you double tap home again camera feature on its own, where as it should be shown as both features together.

Apple Security? Who cares? Your going to give them your money anyways as will I. This is the company motto and why security isn't and hasn't been their focus. Why do you think IT people hate Apple in the corporate environment? Apple does minimum requirements when it comes to security.

does it work on 4.3.3?
Mine doesnt work with Jailbreak.
custom unlock "Move2Unlock" (cant pass to springboard like video show)

edit: Im safe

I can delete apps and close apps. I cannot start up anything (so there is no way to get to my mail). Is my security issue only "partial", or did this tester not really try to run anything?

Edit: The article does mention NOTHING can be opened. How does this expose "personal" information if the only thing you can see are apps?

Xenomorph said,
I can delete apps and close apps. I cannot start up anything (so there is no way to get to my mail). Is my security issue only "partial", or did this tester not really try to run anything?

Edit: The article does mention NOTHING can be opened. How does this expose "personal" information if the only thing you can see are apps?

Well, there could be another way around that too.

Xenomorph said,
I can delete apps and close apps. I cannot start up anything (so there is no way to get to my mail). Is my security issue only "partial", or did this tester not really try to run anything?

Edit: The article does mention NOTHING can be opened. How does this expose "personal" information if the only thing you can see are apps?

The second time he shows the problem he leaves the browser open when he locks the iPad. He only shows being able to scroll up and down after "unlocking", but presumably you can navigate to other pages too.

My understanding was that you could leave a mail client active or browser with webmail logged in which accounts for the personal information being available.

Xenomorph said,
I can delete apps and close apps. I cannot start up anything (so there is no way to get to my mail). Is my security issue only "partial", or did this tester not really try to run anything?

Edit: The article does mention NOTHING can be opened. How does this expose "personal" information if the only thing you can see are apps?

If you left mail open as your last used app then the person who uses the hack will be able to read and delete all your mail. Its just from the home screen that you can't open apps.

get over it and just turn off the lock/unlock option. is it a bug/flaw...sure but it will be fixed. like droid is even remotely perfect....how many malware apps have been discovered?

i have a smart cover but i also bought a protector for my ipad2 from neiman marcus that has a bluetooth keyboard built in with it. it works just a smart cover but never with this flaw. maybe i have not happen to me just yet but i will be sure to know it when it happens. people lock their tablets for a reason and they should not just leave it lying around for others to get at it. it is quite an expensive toy to be so careless.

Not good. At least (if you didn't lock it with an app open) you can't access anything. I suspect Apple will fix this quite quickly.

The Smart Cover can also scratch your screen if a sand particle gets between it and the screen. Not much padding and a hard side that is right up to the screen is terrible idea since anything between will essentially be ground into the glass. That is how I think my iPad 2 got a scratch. Thankfully, Apple replaced it for free. No more smart cover for me.

SK[ said,]I have an Android and an iPad 2, your comment is full of so much crap.

They're both Fischer-Price looking operating systems right now.

excalpius said,

They're both Fischer-Price looking operating systems right now.


No, I'm pretty sure an OS like iOS that uses the touch metaphor and unnecessary pictures for things like a camera snapshot (the aperture animation), and one that monkeys in a zoo have been known to play around with, is the real Fischer-Price operating system. Why do you think young toddlers like iPads generally more?

Dumbed down OS = well, you can guess the type of consumer...

PlogCF said,
Dumbed down OS = well, you can guess the type of consumer...

Alternatively, some people just don't feel the need to use an unnecessary overly complicated OS for the sake of using an unnecessary overly OS so they can look cool in front of their geeky friends.

Crazy, I know!

I am amaze how regular people or fanboys allows and forgive this kind of security flaws and get along with it.

As soon Motorola, Sony and others gets security problems with their products, people reacts, stock market goes down, blogs and everyone in a flamming war against the product/company. Refunds and all.

WTH! People should recognize Apple is a money machinne, with overrated pricey products with a lot of flaws and may I say TOO many and security concerns.

Pulgafree said,
I am amaze how regular people or fanboys allows and forgive this kind of security flaws and get along with it.

As soon Motorola, Sony and others gets security problems with their products, people reacts, stock market goes down, blogs and everyone in a flamming war against the product/company. Refunds and all.

WTH! People should recognize Apple is a money machinne, with overrated pricey products with a lot of flaws and may I say TOO many and security concerns.

Overrated pricy products... That is entirely subjective. And who is forgiving it exactly? It needs fixing and pronto!

Pulgafree said,
I am amaze how regular people or fanboys allows and forgive this kind of security flaws and get along with it.

As soon Motorola, Sony and others gets security problems with their products, people reacts, stock market goes down, blogs and everyone in a flamming war against the product/company. Refunds and all.

WTH! People should recognize Apple is a money machinne, with overrated pricey products with a lot of flaws and may I say TOO many and security concerns.

Overrated pricy products... That is entirely subjective. And who is forgiving it exactly? It needs fixing and pronto!

Wait a sec, does it need the smart cover in this? What if he just locked the screen and then walked away and then someone came along? Or am i missing somethin?

Iridium said,
Wait a sec, does it need the smart cover in this? What if he just locked the screen and then walked away and then someone came along? Or am i missing somethin?

The iPad uses magnets to determine if you lift the Smart Cover in order to wake the iPad automatically. I guess you could also use an ordinary magnet and place it near the sensor to achieve the same thing.

Zoom7000 said,
Didn't think 5.0.1 would be out so early! Now it's a necessity!

Thank god it's gonna be a Delta update, instead of having to download the entire OS again...