Indian researcher break iPhone, iPad activation lock

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An Indian security researcher has discovered a bug that could allow someone to bypass Apple’s activation lock in its iOS 10.1 version, according to a media report today.

Hemanth Joseph, who works out of Kerala exploited a weakness in the iOS device setup process. He then tested it on a locked iPad he purchased online.

activation lock

When asked to choose a WiFi network, he simply chose ‘other network’ and then proceeded to fill its name and a WPA2-enterprise key in with thousands of characters. His thought was that enough data in those fields would cause the device to freeze, and he was right, the Forbes reported.

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After figuring out how to freeze the iPad, he began to work on a way to make the setup process fail and drop him on the home screen.

Pressing the sleep/wake button merely restarted the wizard, but with a little help from the magnetic catch in Apple’s Smart Cover and some practice to perfect the timing, Joseph succeeded. He demonstrated the bypass in a video uploaded to Google Drive, the report said.

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Researchers at US-based Vulnerability Lab had earlier discovered another bug, the iOS 10.1.1. Like Joseph, the team began by overloading the WiFi setup fields and employed a smart cover. There’s one minor difference: they rotate the device in their video demo to display the home screen.

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After figuring out how to freeze the iPad, he began to work on a way to make the setup process fail and drop him on the home screen.

The bug discovered by Joseph was reportedly fixed in an iOS update last month.

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