Siri Security Issues

The new Siri voice assistant that Apple included on the iPhone4S is pretty cool. Many people are very hyped about it and it’s definitely a very interesting feature. No other has really managed to do the voice activation and control in quite the same manner or as thoroughly as Apple has done with Siri. Siri actually started out as an app for the iPhone that was made by a third party, it’s been available for the iPhone for quite some time and many people were already using it before the 4S was even announced.

The main purpose of this blog is actually more to do with a flaw in Siri’s default functionality though. The way that Siri is configured by default is a huge security issue if you keep anything even remotely personal on your phone. Even with a lock code in place on your phone anybody can activate Siri and start asking it questions. This can reveal calendar appointments, text messages, recent calls, and numerous other things. Siri is also capable of composing and sending emails and text messages without the phone being unlocked. The only thing that limits the sending functionality is that Siri can only send to people that are already on your contact list. Siri can even place voice calls to those that you have as contacts.
The decision to make Siri accessible from the lock screen by default isn’t the best one Apple has made and should have been an opt-in choice for the user instead of something that was configured by default. Fortunately, it’s quite simple to disable this functionality. Simply open your Settings app, go into General, and then into Passcode Lock. On the Passcode Lock settings screen is a toggle for Siri. If you switch this to off Siri will no longer be accessible from the lock screen. As with many things in the world of electronics, you sometimes have to choose between security and convenience.
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Mike Ledbetter

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