iOS 7 Bug Allows Calls to Any Number from Emergency Call Screen
Only days after the launch of iOS 7, a second security bug has been found. This time, a bit of button-mashing enables anyone with access to the phone to dial any number from a locked iPhone via the emergency call feature.
For those new to iOS, the platform has traditionally offered users the ability to dial emergency calls — such as 9-1-1 in the U.S. — from a locked device. In iOS 7, the “Emergency” button is located on the bottom left side of the unlock screen. Pressing it will give the user a full dial pad. Attempting to dial any number other than approved emergency numbers based on the phone’s geographic location gives the user an “Emergency Calls Only” message.
But don’t give up! As noted by YouTuber Karam Daoud, and verified by TekRevue, if the user repeatedly presses the call button after receiving the “Emergency Calls Only” message, the phone screen will eventually turn black, display an Apple logo for about 15 seconds, and then dial the entered number.
This can be a potentially serious security issue; in addition to the potential for harmless mischief, nothing prevents unauthorized users from dialing expensive toll numbers, making long distance calls, or engaging in criminal activity that traces back to the unsuspecting phone owner.
Apple is reportedly aware of the issue but has yet to comment publicly on the matter. The release of a new version of iOS frequently reveals security flaws, so we hope that the engineers in Cupertino are working hard on a fix.
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