iPhone 4S Security Hole: The Problem with Siri


Have you met Siri? Siri is a voice-activated personal assistant that comes with the new iPhone 4S. It became an instant hit when it was launched last October as it has a lot of cool features that will extend the functionality of your iPhone. With Siri, you will be able to send an email or text, set calendar appointment, get directions, search the net, set an alarm and more with just a simple voice command.

iPhone 4S Security Hole

If you want to send a text message to your boss saying “I will be late,” just dictate it to Siri and she will type and send the message for you. If you want to set a calendar appointment, just say the date and time and Siri will book the appointment in your Calendar. Siri is like having your own personal assistant in your pocket.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the technology behind Siri. With AI, Siri not only listens to the voice command but also simulates and find the best possible execution for the command. Very smart, right?

Unfortunately, as smart as Siri sounds, there was a security loophole that has been discovered just a few days after it was launched. Even with the iPhone passcode-locked, anyone can just press the home button and give commands for Siri to execute. Since Siri is not connected to a single voice, even stranger can command Siri to add a calendar appointment, compose a text message, and send an email from your phone by just executing a voice command. This pose a great vulnerability and security risk as this is like giving strangers access to your phone.

To solve this issue, the phone’s default settings should be change by going to Settings – General -Passcode Lock and then turning Siri off. This will prevent the activation of Siri in a passcode-locked phone.

siriOf course, Apple has reasons for not enabling this security feature by default. Siri revolutionize hands-free mobile use as you can quickly execute commands without having the need to touch your phone. One practical application and use of this is when you want to send a text message while driving. With Siri being activated even when the phone is locked allows the user to send a text message without having the need to enter a passcode.

Because of this security hole, Apple has put Siri in a Beta stage, which means that it is still in the process of being refined and developed. A great improvement for Siri then would be voice identification, which will link a single voice with Siri. This will only allow the phone’s owner to execute Siri commands, which will increase the security of the iPhone.

Every technology has its own pros and cons. It is good to be abreast with the latest technology but this is also a reminder that we should not just embrace every technology that will be introduce in the market. It is important to weight if the advantages overcomes the disadvantages to truly maximize and put this technology to great use

So would you trade convenience over security?

Author’s Bio: Abie is a pro blogger who writes about topics that tackle’s the latest in the IT field such as gadgets, software and technology and more. Her recent work is for the site afbtemplates, which offers animated Facebook templates.

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