(Another) iPhone Security Glitch: How to Protect Yourself From Siri

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

I assure you that you’re not reading an old article. There’s yet another iPhone vulnerability in town, with Siri and 3D Touch at the heart of it. It allows anybody to access your photos and contacts with worrying ease, even with your handset locked.

If you use an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus running iOS 9.3.1 and have Siri enabled on your lock screen, pay attention. Here’s how anyone can worm their way into your locked phone:

  • Ask Siri to search for Twitter
  • Get the digital assistant to search for an email domain, such as '@gmail.com' or '@hotmail.com'
  • Find a valid email address and 3D Touch it
  • Tap the ‘Create New Contact’ option and opt to add a photo -- this provides access to all of your images
  • OR hit the ‘Add to Existing Contact’ button -- this provides access to your contacts list

Fortunately, it’s easy to protect yourself, and you have more than one shield available to you. By heading to your Photos menu via Settings and Privacy, you can switch off the Siri key to stop the digital assistant from opening up your gallery to potential hackers. Unfortunately, this won’t seal off your contacts list.

For full protection, it’s wisest to outright disable access to Siri from the lock screen. You can do this by heading into Settings, then Touch ID & Passcode, and disabling the Siri switch. It may make life with your new iPhone a little less convenient for the time being, but we're sure Apple will release a fix soon. Okay, eventually. [9to5Mac, Gadgets360, YouTube]