9to5Mac reports that Apple has released iOS v6.1.3 beta 2 to developers that addresses the current lock screen security flaw. The news arrives after Apple released iOS v6.1.2 over the air earlier this week which supposedly fixes the Microsoft Exchange and battery drainage problems.
This latest beta release follows beta 1 which was previously named as v6.1.1 beta 1. Apple reportedly changed the current name due to the public releases of v6.1.1 and v6.1.2. Apple's iOS v6.1.1 was unleashed on iPhone 4S owners weeks ago to address 3G connectivity issues specific to that model. Until now, the only problem Apple hadn't addressed related to the original v6.1 release was the lock screen security flaw.
As one report stated last week, iOS 6.1 "hasn't been Apple's finest hour." In just 36 hours after its debut at the end of January, the update had been downloaded and installed by 21.8-percent of Apple's iOS users – 11.3-percent upgraded within the first 24 hours. But shortly thereafter reports of overheating batteries, 3G connectivity issues, and Microsoft Exchange issues began to emerge. There were also reports that anyone could gain access to a locked iOS 6.1 device by merely using a sequence of physical and virtual button presses.
One of the ways to bypass the lock screen is to lock the device, slide to unlock, and then tap emergency call. After that, anyone can go through a series of steps that include calling 911, locking the device with the sleep button, and tapping the emergency button again (this is the short edited version of the sequence that's listed here). The call app will go nuts and open, granting anyone access to photos and contacts as long as the sleep button is pressed.
This isn't the first time Apple has broken the screen lock security. A similar bug was found in iOS 4.1 which was fixed in the v4.2 update a month later. The current bug is now supposedly fixed in v6.1.3, but when that comes out is anyone's guess at this point. Also slated in the update are several enhancements to the Maps application for Japan, and possible plugs for exploits used in recent jailbreaks.