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New iOS Bug Could Allow Strangers To Browse Personal Data On Your iPhone

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 5/04/2016 Damon Beres
RELDBMGF10000220722 © Robert Galbraith / Reuters RELDBMGF10000220722

There's a brand new reason to worry about updating your iPhone -- if you've got one of the latest devices, anyway.

People can worm their way into private photos and contacts stored within iPhone 6S and 6S Plus devices thanks to a glitch in iOS 9.3.1, the just-released version of Apple's mobile operating system. YouTube user EverythingApplePro explained the bug in a video Monday, and Mashable confirmed Tuesday that it's the real deal.

The Huffington Post was also able to bypass an iPhone's lock screen using the steps outlined by EverythingApplePro. It's pretty simple. From the lock screen, you activate Siri and ask it to search Twitter for an email address. If you "3D Touch" on an email address within a tweet and select "create new contact," you'll be able to browse through all of the photos on someone's device in addition to their private contacts. 

Because the glitch relies on 3D Touch functionality, it only works on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus -- not the new iPhone SE or previous models. So, there's a good chance you don't have much to worry about. (You'd also have to let your device physically fall into the wrong hands, since the glitch doesn't work remotely.) 

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost, but the company will probably fix the bug in the next iOS update. If you're really paranoid about security, you could disable Siri for the time being -- at least when you're not actively using the intelligent digital assistant -- but that's probably overkill because of how specific the glitch is.

Still, it's yet another reminder that rushing to update iOS isn't always the right choice. Previously, an iOS glitch caused some people grief when trying to interact with links. We'll say now what we said then: Update your iPhone, but only after you've given everyone else a few days to test the waters first.

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