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Apple rolls out iOS 6.1.3 update addressing lock-screen glitch

Apple has rolled out iOS 6.1.3, which fixes a glitch that allowed scammers to circumvent the lock screen on iOS gadgets.

The general notes on the 18.2MB update say that iOS 6.1.3 "contains improvements and bug fixes," but drill down and Apple admits that the update "fixes a bug that could allow someone to bypass the passcode and access the iPhone app."

The glitch cropped up in January when YouTube user videosdebarraquito posted a video that demonstrated how anyone with iOS 6.1 could bypass the password lock and access the Phone app, view or modify contacts, check voicemail, and browse photos.

The hack directed users to open the emergency call functionality available on locked iPhones, push down the power button, and tap cancel. Users were then directed to dial 112, tap green and then immediately red before returning to the passcode screen.

Multiple tests at our offices, however, were unsuccessful.

A similar glitch a couple of years ago allowed access to locked iPhones running iOS 4.1. The late 2010 hack followed the same process, but ended a couple of steps earlier. Apple acknowledged the issue and promised to deliver a fix with iOS 4.2.

The iOS 6.1.3 update, meanwhile, also adds improvements to Apple Maps in Japan. It comes several weeks after the release of iOS 6.1.2, which fixed an Exchange Calendar bug that could result in increased network activity a drain a device's battery.

Earlier this month, a similar lock-screen flaw was discovered in the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.