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Siri bug reveals hidden messages even if iPhone is locked

25 March 2018

Apple is aware of the iOS message reading bug, and has a fix planned for their next update.

A Brazilian Mac magazine - it's called MacMagazine - claims to have uncovered a security hole in iOS 11. They should be enough to control the problem until Apple rolls out a bug fix.

"We are aware of the issue and it will be addressed in an upcoming software update", the iPhone-maker said in a statement to MacRumors.

Your hidden iOS 11 notifications can be read aloud by Siri, even when your iPhone is locked, according to a newly discovered privacy bug.

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MacRumours replicated the bug on an iPhone X in its own tests, between iOS 11.2.6 and the current iOS 11.3 beta.

But it turns out there's a very simple way to read these hidden notifications even if you can't unlock the phone: Just ask Siri to read them to you.

Now, if you want to read notifications, you have to unlock the phone using Face ID, a password, or some other form of authentication.

It's particularly concerning that this affects Signal notifications, as the app is primarily favored for its encrypted messaging features that provide extra security.

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We accept that there are regulatory reasons why a lockscreen isn't allowed to lock out absolutely everything: in an crisis, you want to be able to dial 112, 911, 999, 000 or whatever the relevant emergency number is without fumbling your way through an unlock code first.

To disable notifications for apps, you need to go to Settings, then select Notifications. But it looks like Siri can surpass this security layer quite easily. Siri didn't check and make sure that the owner of the phone was the person who's making the request. This helped confirm that, strangely, iMessage and SMS were unaffected, whereas applications such as Facebook Messenger, Apple Mail and plenty more. Go to Settings Siri & Search and toggle Allow Siri When Locked to off.

Under the "When Unlocked" setting, you can choose from "Always" and 'Never'.

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Siri bug reveals hidden messages even if iPhone is locked