Apple’s products have a reputation of being more secure than their competitors whether that is Windows on the desktop or Android on mobile devices, but this reputation is not always well founded.
Apple’s OSX on the desktop long offered security through obscurity, with hackers focusing on Windows for their exploits due to the 90%+ marketshare. Apple has been gaining ground on the desktop in recent years, and with that success we have seen more attacks on Apple products.
On mobile, the control that Apple has over all the apps installed on its devices through the app store means that Apple’s ecosystem has remained more secure. Apple is not perfect, however, and with the latest release of iOS 6.1 they have left a rather large security hole, which means that someone with physically access to your locked phone will have access to your contacts, emails, and text messages without the need for a passcode. Whoops!
The timing can be a little tricky, but in essence all the would-be thief/prankster needs to do is start an emergency call whilst the phone is locked. By cancelling that call, the perpetrator can then access the majority of your phones functions and stored data – all without the need to enter your passcode.
Probably best to keep an eye on your phone until Apple issues an update.