9to5 Mac recently discovered a glaring security flaw in the way the iPad 2 works with the Apple Smart Cover in iOS 5. When using a Smart Cover, anyone can bypass an iPad’s passcode to gain access to the home screen or any open app.
This bug only takes a short amount of time to execute, and all that’s required is an iPad 2 and a Smart Cover.
When at the lock screen, holding down the iPad 2 until the power button slider comes up and then opening and closing the Smart Cover will give access to whatever was showing on the iPad’s screen at the time it was turned off or went to sleep.
A person using this trick would not have full access to the iPad because it’s technically still locked, but they are able to see all available apps on the home screen. And what’s worse, if mail, iMessage, Safari, or another app with private information was open, that’s exactly what the iPad will open to, potentially exposing sensitive data.
Apple will likely provide a fix for this issue in a timely manner, but in the meantime, to prevent someone from viewing the contents of your iPad without your permission, disable Smart Cover locking in the iPad 2 settings menu.
To see the error for yourself, follow these steps:
- Acquire password protected iPad 2
- Hold down the power button until the power off slider appears
- Close the Smart Cover
- Open the Smart Cover
- Tap cancel at the bottom of the screen