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Flaw In Apple’s Virtual Assistant Makes It Easy To Execute Commands From A Locked Phone

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Siri is Apple’s virtual assistant created for Apple users to help them stay connected to their devices without having to touch their devices. With Siri, the user can send texts and make calls when their hands are full.  However, it appears there’s a flaw with the feature. Quartz discovered that a third party could send a text or make calls even when the phone is locked.

With just your voice, you can command a couple of tasks such as setting the alarm, dialling a number, checking the weather forecast, and sending a text. It turns out that people can use this feature to execute nefarious acts without the users knowing. Imagine asking Siri to send a text to recruiter telling them that you are no longer interested in an opening after a successful interview. Or, a text message to an annoying ex that you want them back!

The virtual assistant is on every iPhone released after the iPhone 6S launched in 2015. Siri was launched in 2011 and has since been added as a feature to its products ranging from smartphones to tablets. You can imagine the number of phones with such a flaw!

Quartz discovered that users could ask Siri to do specific tasks while the phone is locked even if it’s not theirs. For instance, it can request to call the last dialled number or send a message to Sam, without the owner knowing.

However, there is a clause to this flaw. The person must have a similar voice like the real owner of the phone for the command to be executed.  The fault is similar to the one discovered in iOS 11 where Apple’s virtual assistant would read your notifications even when your phone was locked.

Apple didn’t say how it addressed that bug in the next phone series. Individuals who use the feature on their Apple devices and want their messages to stay private can deactivate Siri whenever their phone is locked through the “settings” tab.

To deactivate siri on the device, go to settings, select Siri & Search and then disable “Allow Siri When Locked.” Once you achieve this, your privacy is somewhat secure.

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