How thieves can break into your Apple iPad 2 using a smart cover

Security flaw in iOS 5 means that thieves can break into your iPad 2 without a passcode

A major security flaw in Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 5 means that potential thieves can gain access to your iPad and personal information without having to type in your password

A major security flaw in the iOS 5 download for Apple iPad devices has been unearthed, just a day after it had emerged thieves could use Siri to gather iPhone 4S users' personal information even when their devices are locked.

The Apple blog 9to5mac reports that a smart cover, the magnetic covers for Apple tablets, somehow confuses the iOS 5 software, allowing third parties to unlock the device without having to enter the four-digit passcode.

Although the third party will not have full access to your iPad – only to the apps and features to whatever the tablet was locked on – if a user left Mail, Safari, Messages and Contacts applications running, potential thieves could access users' phone numbers, addresses, email addressess and also go through personal messages.

If you left your iPad 2 on its Home screen, the third party can view which applications the users has on their device and control media from the multitasking bar, but not much else.

The finding is a major embarrassment to Apple, who only last week came under fire after fans reported Error 3200 messages while downloading the iOS 5 mobile operating system. Further headache followed yesterday after it was reveled that the default Siri settings for the Apple iPhone 4S meant thieves could access users' personal information, simply by asking Siri to give it to them.

9to5mac's guide on how to unlock the Apple iPad 2 using a smart cover

1) Lock a password protected iPad 2
2) Hold down power button until iPad 2 reaches turn off slider
3) Close Smart Cover
4) Open Smart Cover
5) Click cancel on the bottom of the screen

Watch how easy it is for thieves to break into your Apple iPad device