The "Unlock a locked phone" YouTube video? It's a hoax

6 March 2016, 02:36

If you’ve been on social media over the last few days you’ll probably have noticed a video going around claiming to show somebody unlocking a locked iPhone. In fact, there are several videos, as YouTubers recreate the video to cash-in.

The “trick” is to use Siri to open the Clock app, then use iOS’ sharing menu to bypass the lockcode/TouchID screen. The most widely seen of the videos is embedded below – take a look.

Alas, it’s a trick and like all tricks it’s blissfully simple. When the individual in the video holds the Home button to summon Siri initially, she simultaneously unlocks the phone with her thumb. This allows access to the Sharing menu that wouldn’t appear if the phone was genuinely locked.

Other people who repeat the trick also unlock the phone, without realising, so claim this is a real hack. These individuals should try the trick again with their pinkie finger, for example, or the end of a pen, to see if it still works.

There are certainly bugs with the iOS lock screen mechanism, and this might be adding to the momentum behind this hoax (assuming it is a hoax – the individual behind the video might not’ve been aware she was unlocking the phone).

For example, recently we explained a prank that can force a user to turn off their phone, while a few months ago we explained an unlock bug that’s eerily similar to this hoax in the steps involved. That bug allows anybody to view the contacts and photos of a user, although requires some involved prior setup.

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