How to unlock Apple's iPhone and iPad that don't belong to you

Hemanth Joseph revealed the vulnerability in Apple's iOS 10.1 software and unblocked an iPad using a 10,000-letter made up password and Apple's magnetic Smart Cover

How to unlock Apple

An Indian cyber security enthusiast has successfully bypassed Apple's activation lock security feature using a heretofore unknown bug.

Based in Kerala, Hemanth Joseph revealed the vulnerability in Apple's iOS 10.1 software and unblocked an iPad using a 10,000-letter made up password and Apple's magnetic Smart Cover.

According to Joseph, he chose 'other network' when asked to select a WiFi network and filled its name and a WPA2-enterprise key in with thousands of characters after realising that there is no character restriction in those fields.


“The issue which i exploited: There was no Character limit in those input fields. No one will set a wifi name with 10000 letter name or a password with 10000 letter so a character limit is important for fixing this bug,” Joseph wrote in his blog.

Knowing that that enough data in those fields would cause the device to freeze, he started working on a way to make the setup process fail and drop him on the home screen. And, finally he succeeded unblocking the iPad with the help of magnetic catch in Apple's Smart Cover  in addition to few other technical steps.

“If an attacker can unlock a iCloud locked iOS device he will get access to all your personal data, documents, saved passwords etc etc. In addition, he can sell your iPad as it will work fine,” he said.

Joseph reported the issue to Apple on 4 November and Apple reportedly released a software update fixing the flaw on all iOS devices on 16 November.

In September, internet search giant Google had  presented a bounty of $7,500 to Hemanth Joseph, after he helped them find a lapse that would affect users of Google Cloud. Participating in Google’s bounty programme, he showed how hackers could get into Google Cloud user’s projects.

Meanwhile, researchers at Vulnerability Lab have also discovered the iOS 10.1.1 bug after overloading the WiFi setup fields and employed a smart cover Forbes reported.