Siri privacy bug on iOS 11 compromises your hidden notifications

25 March, 2018, 01:19 | Author: Darren Santiago
  • A recently discovered security flaw shows that Siri will still read your hidden notifications aloud even if your phone is locked. Text messages are still protected however

Fortunately, any messages or notifications sent to Apple's own Messages app, iMessage, are still protected.

It looks like Apple has left a huge loophole in iOS that gives practically anyone the access to hidden notifications of anyone's iPhone.

Apple users on iOS 11 can set message notifications to be hidden on the lock screen, where the user is alerted that a notification from an app has arrived, but its contents are not revealed unless the device is unlocked.

Apple has acknowledged the problem and promised a fix soon. In a statement on the matter provided to MacRumors, Apple said: "We are aware of the issue and it will be addressed in an upcoming software update".

In fact, with Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 11, this is a default feature. But the bug will allow anyone to hear complete messages from other third-party messaging apps like Skype or WhatsApp.

Go to Settings → Touch ID & Passcode → ALLOW ACCESS WHEN LOCKED.

Siri still requires authentication before it'll read notifications from iMessage but a security flaw means that it can dictate notifications from third-party apps like Slack

But a number of websites tested the iPhones, and found that Siri would gladly read out all messages when asked.

As pointed out by MacRumors, Apple iPhone X users have a reason to be anxious by this bug.

Protect Yourself: To hide message content on the Lock screen, click Settings Notifications, choose the app.

Gadgets Now tried it and was able to replicate the issue in the company's most advanced smartphone - iPhone X.

Thankfully there are some basic settings that can prevent Siri from reading out your personal messages without authentication, but it takes a toll at some of your convenience. Without checking if it was the user issuing the command, Siri would begin to reel off all of the notifications aloud, including those designated as hidden. Choose the app that you don't want to show notifications and swipe its "Show on Lock Screen" toggle.

Until Apple rectifies this, you can avoid any potential privacy snooping by turning off lock screen notifications for sensitive apps.

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