iPad 2 owners need to reconsider just how secure their tablets are following the discovery of a flaw that allows attackers with Apple Smart Covers to unlock iPads, even if they are password protected. The issue was first disclosed in the forums of German Apple enthusiast site apfeltalk.de, and has since been replicated numerous times including in tests by BetaNews.
As opposed to an issue where Siri allowed access to phone features from the lock screen — that actually can be disabled with Siri’s settings — the locking issue actually appears to be a legitimate flaw. The issue was verified by Betanews in iOS 5, however, Internet reports seem to suggest that it can also be recreated in iOS 4.3.
The procedure to break into a password-protected iPad 2 is pretty simple. First, lock the iPad as you normally would. After this occurs, hold down the power button till the slider appears on the screen. When this happens, close the Smart Cover over the iPad. Open the Smart Cover back up, and click cancel on the screen. With that, you now have full access to the device.
Betanews has sent out a request to Apple for comment on the matter, as well as asking for a timeframe on a possible fix.
In the meantime, Apple enthusiast site 9to5Mac has shared a stopgap fix in their own invesigation of the flaw. “We have discovered that you can temporarily fix this bug by disabling Smart Cover unlocking in the iPad 2 settings menu under the General tab,” iOS developer and 9to5Mac contributor Mark Gurman wrote on Friday.