TECH

Engineering Student From Kerala Cracks Apple's Security Lock Feature

He had won ₹5 lakh from Google a few months back for pointing out a bug in its Cloud platform.

03/12/2016 12:21 PM IST | Updated 03/12/2016 12:31 PM IST
Stephen Lam / Reuters

Hemanth Joseph, an engineering student from Kerala, has found out a way to crack open Apple's highly secure activation lock, that allows the owner to prevent others from using their iPhone or iPad once it's lost or stolen.

"I found out a way to bypass the lock screen when somebody tries to open any of devices, locked by the owner using 'Find iPhone' app," Joseph, a final-year mechanical engineering student at Amal Jyothi College of Engineering, Kanjirappally, told the Times of India.

This all started when Joseph bought a used iPad from eBay for his friend and found out that the previous owner had locked it. He further told TOI that while playing around with the locked iPad, he found out that the tablet didn't have a character limit for input fields for the verification before connecting to the 'another Wi-Fi network' option.

After being prompted by his friends to reveal how he did it, Joseph wrote in his blog that he used the security lapse in the input fields for name, username and password. Since, there was no character limit in those input fields, it got easier for him to bypass the security lock. Furthermore, he said that no one would set a Wi-Fi name with 10,000 letters or a password with 10,000 characters, and so a character limit was important to fix the bug.

According to TOI, Joseph calls himself a 'security researcher' and ventured into this line at a relatively young age. He even won US$ 7,500 (₹5 lakh) from Google, a few months back, for pointing out a bug in its Cloud platform. He has achieved similar feats from more than 45 companies, which include Twitter and Microsoft. This time, Apple has contacted him saying they are looking into the issue.

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