Anyone with physical access to a device can complete a number of manual steps in order to hack into a handset, whereafter the “hacker” can make calls, access voicemail, send messages, view and modify contacts and upload photos via the Contacts app.
It is unclear whether the bug enables internet access.
Disabling the passcode involves making and cancelling an emergency call, and switching the device on and off, with anonymous “VideosdeBarraquito” posting full directions on YouTube.
A similar bug was experienced by iPhone users in 2009, when experts demonstrated that handsets could be hacked into and remote-controlled by a hacker sending a series of text messages to the phone constituting a type of executable file code.
The current trouble is one in a string of bugs that have plagued the iOS 6.1 update, with users complaining of shortened battery life and network connectivity troubles following the adoption of the update.
The bugs have already led to certain network operators advising users not to install the update until a fix is issued, while corporate users have been warned many are experiencing problems with Microsoft Exchange services caused by the iOS 6.1 update and as such have been advised not to install the update, given that the update cannot be reversed once undertaken.
The issues are unfortunate for Apple, given that the iOS 6.1 update has seen the quickest adoption rate by users of its system upgrades to date.