Protect Your Personal Data From the iPhone 2.0.2 Firmware Security Flaw

Many iPhone users have used the passcode lock feature to protect personal data. So everyone's information is safe and secure, right? Turns out it can easily be viewed without the password if the phone has been updated to firmware version 2.0.2. Even if the phone is locked, in emergency call mode a double-click of the home button brings up favorite contacts.

This alone might not be a problem, except that from this screen dialing provides access to the full contacts list, voicemail, and dial keypad. From the contacts list, sending a text opens the SMS application and text history. One click on an email address opens the mail application and all of your mailboxes. Similarly, any links in emails or contacts will open Safari, including history and bookmarks.

Luckily, the workaround is simple. The iPhone has a menu setting to prevent the home button from acting as a shortcut to the favorites list. Under Settings select General. The Home Button menu lists three different actions that can take place when the home button is double-clicked. The default, Phone Favorites, leaves the iPhone open to this security flaw.

By changing the selection to Home or iPod, the home button will no longer double-click straight to your personal info in emergency call mode or otherwise. We'll be on the lookout for a fix from Apple.