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Apple Fixes Screen Lock Bypass Bug With iOS 6.1.3 Update

Apple on Tuesday released iOS 6.1.3, the latest software update for iPhone and iPads, which fixes a security flaw that lets anyone with physical access to the device bypass the screen lock feature.

Apple on Tuesday released iOS 6.1.3, the latest software update for iPhone and iPads, which fixes a security flaw that lets anyone with physical access to the device bypass the screen lock feature.

In late February, security researcher Benjamin Kunz discovered a flaw (CVE-2013-0980 ) in iOS that enabled would-be attackers or snoopers (anyone that has access to the device) to access photos and contacts by following a series of steps which he outlined in a blog post and video. 

iOS 6.1.3 ScreenshotiOS 6.1.3 addresses other security issues including a kernel vulnerability (CVE-2013-0978) that could allow a local user to determine the address of structures in the kernel, a “lockdown” vulnerability (CVE-2013-0979) that may allow a user to change permissions on arbitrary files, and a vulnerability in Webkit that could allow a malicious website to cause unexpected application termination (crashes) or arbitrary code execution. Apple also addressed a USB issue (CVE-2013-0981) that permitted a local user to be able to execute arbitrary code in the iOS kernel.

The iOS 6.1.3 update is available through iTunes and Software Update on iOS devices.

The automatic update process may take up to a week depending on the day that iTunes or the device checks for updates, Apple said.  However, users can manually install the update via the Check for Updates button within iTunes, or the Software Update on an iOS device.

To check that the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad has been updated:

• Navigate to Settings

• Select General

• Select About.

The version after applying the update should be “6.1.3”.

The iOS update comes just days after Apple addressed a large number of security fixes in Mac OS X with the release of Mac OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.3. While the updates addressed a wide range of software products and components, one fix of interest addressed an issue (CVE-2013-0967) in CoreTypes that allowed a malicious website to launch a Java application automatically even if the Java plug-in is disabled. 

Written By

For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.

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