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iOS 7 beta: Find My 'iDevice' gets more secure with password disable

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Apple's beta build of iOS 7 makes it more difficult for thieves to get away with stealing an iOS device by requiring a user's password to be entered when disabling the "Find My iPhone" functionality.

Password


The new feature, found in pre-release builds of iOS 7 made available to developers and first discovered by AppleInsider reader Tom, also applies to the iPad. Users can open the Settings application, choose iCloud, then "Find My iPhone," and flipping the switch to off brings up a password prompt.

The addition addresses a potential issue that users have noticed for years, since the "Find My iPhone" functionality came to iOS 4 in 2010. With iOS 7, users who may not feel the need to utilize the passcode lock screen can still enjoy added security for the Find My iPhone feature, making it more difficult for a thief to turn it off.

Password


Of course, someone who has stolen an iPhone or iPad could simply turn off the device, or remove a SIM card. But the new feature is just an added level of security for those who may be unfortunate enough to have their device stolen.

For in-depth coverage of Apple's new mobile operating system, see AppleInsider's Inside iOS 7 series.
post #2 of 41
Next step would be to get GPS to work even without the sim card inserted. Or require a password to power it off.
post #3 of 41
It would be great if "Find iPhone" does not crash in iOS 7 beta 2.
post #4 of 41
and what's this 'Activation Lock' all about?
post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanTiger View Post

Next step would be to get GPS to work even without the sim card inserted. Or require a password to power it off.

I've sent apple numerous requests to add a feature that requires a password to be entered to power off the device.

Having the GPS work with or without sim would be awesome as well.
post #6 of 41
It won't prevent some slimeball from stealing your iDevice, but it could go a long way to removing the financial incentive if your iCloud login was required to deactivate the current SIM card.

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post #7 of 41
Also, in the UK when a phone is lost this is what most/all people do:

1/ Immediately inform network who will block sim to prevent unauthorised use
2/ Immediately inform insurance company of loss
3/ Instigate a remote wipe if possibile to protect data

Does this feature mitigate the need for any of these steps?
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanTiger View Post

Next step would be to get GPS to work even without the sim card inserted. Or require a password to power it off.

Or get the device to send all remaining electrical energy to the metal exterior when incorrectly attempting to disable 'Find My iPhone', tasing the shit out of them and branding the word 'THIEF' onto their hand.

That'd be...fun.
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Pot is legal in North Korea.
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post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post

Also, in the UK when a phone is lost this is what most/all people do:

1/ Immediately inform network who will block sim to prevent unauthorised use
2/ Immediately inform insurance company of loss
3/ Instigate a remote wipe if possibile to protect data

Does this feature mitigate the need for any of these steps?

No but sometimes you want to track the bloody hooligans who took it.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post

Also, in the UK when a phone is lost this is what most/all people do:

1/ Immediately inform network who will block sim to prevent unauthorised use
2/ Immediately inform insurance company of loss
3/ Instigate a remote wipe if possibile to protect data

Does this feature mitigate the need for any of these steps?


No but this feature may aide in the recovery of the device

post #11 of 41
Does it prevent thieves from simply wiping the device and restoring to factory settings?
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbriton View Post

Does it prevent thieves from simply wiping the device and restoring to factory settings?

I could be wrong, but I believe during the keynote it was mentioned that this passcode would be required even after wiping the device. 

post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tookieman2013 View Post

I could be wrong, but I believe during the keynote it was mentioned that this passcode would be required even after wiping the device. 

from apple:

a new Find My iPhone Activation Lock feature that requires your Apple ID and password before you can turn off Find My iPhone, erase data or re-activate a device after it’s been remotely erased;
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

It would be great if "Find iPhone" does not crash in iOS 7 beta 2.

Grow up. Or look up a dictionary. (Unless you meant to add the '/s' tag, in which case, I apologize)
post #15 of 41
@markbritton, activation lock does.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

It would be great if "Find iPhone" does not crash in iOS 7 beta 2.


What part of "beta" flew by you?

post #17 of 41
iTunes required me to turn off Find My iPhone to perform a restore to the new beta which of course required the above. Slick stuff.
post #18 of 41
How about requiring a password to power-off a locked iPhone? That a no-brainer.

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post #19 of 41
It would be even more secure if the feature also asked for Apple ID, maybe as an option.
post #20 of 41
Find my iPhone is able to locate my iPad just fine--and my iPad has no SIM card and no GPS (it's a WiFi-only model). Same with Find my Mac. Obviously, WiFi location doesn't work everywhere, but it can be pretty good.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post

Also, in the UK when a phone is lost this is what most/all people do:

1/ Immediately inform network who will block sim to prevent unauthorised use
2/ Immediately inform insurance company of loss
3/ Instigate a remote wipe if possibile to protect data

Does this feature mitigate the need for any of these steps?

iOS 7 also has the "activation lock" feature, which can be enabled from iCloud.  Then even if a device is wiped by a thief and restored to factory state, it can't be reactivated on any cell network without typing in your iCloud password.  This is supposed to make stolen iPhones almost worthless.

post #22 of 41
Better than before but still not good enough
Apple needs to do more
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

Better than before but still not good enough
Apple needs to do more

New, the iPhone 5S! Complete with built in taser to discharge the entire battery in the span of a few seconds! Also with AirTase technology because people are too stupid to be trusted to get their taser out in time, so it automatically tases anyone in the general vicinity.
post #24 of 41

Suggestions that requiring a password to power of would be a no-brainer, are spot-on, because a thief wouldn't just let the battery die.

post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

Better than before but still not good enough
Apple needs to do more

Do tell!

post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post

and what's this 'Activation Lock' all about?

New feature of iOS 7 and FMiP where if the phone is erased, either remotely or via a restore to bypass a passcode lock, it won't activate on the iTunes sever unless the person holding it can enter the apple Id and password of the iCloud account that the device is tied to.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post

Also, in the UK when a phone is lost this is what most/all people do:

1/ Immediately inform network who will block sim to prevent unauthorised use
2/ Immediately inform insurance company of loss
3/ Instigate a remote wipe if possibile to protect data

Does this feature mitigate the need for any of these steps?

Nope. This just adds that the iPhone will be unusable even if the person takes it another country

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

How about requiring a password to power-off a locked iPhone? That a no-brainer.

A truly determined thief would pop it in a signal blocking box until the battery dies or open it and pop the battery connector, shutting it off right away.

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post #29 of 41

Restrictions already allowed you to do this in iOS 6. 

 

Pity Apples suggestion to have the SIM done away with and make it all SW based didnt fly. This would have done away with the issue of sim being removed once stolen.

post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephanJobs View Post


I've sent apple numerous requests to add a feature that requires a password to be entered to power off the device.

Having the GPS work with or without sim would be awesome as well.

 

A password to power off the device is a bad idea.  Aside from the sheer inconvenience there are many situations where powering the device down is the only remedy and it's something that people who don't own the device would need to do to it a lot.  For instance you couldn't get the device repaired without giving someone your password or the device could be dangerously overheating and need to be shut down immediately.  

 

Having the GPS work all the time regardless of the OS state would be a great solution but it can't be implemented because of human nature.  There would inevitably be a huge outcry over "tracking," and the drain on the battery.  At least a half dozen conspiracy theories would arise on how Obama was somehow at fault as well.   

post #31 of 41

To those suggesting adding a passcode to turn off the device (since multiquote doesn't seem to work):

 

This could be difficult to implement in a way that didn't diminish the user experience. The buttons used to accomplish this are hardware buttons that function whether the device has become unresponsive, or not. Many times, the only reason someone may wish to shut the phone down is because it's become unresponsive (rare, but it happens). Requiring a passcode to power down the device would essentially brick the device until they could connect it to their computer or run the battery dead.

 

I think Apple's going in the right direction by ensuring the device can't be activated without entering the appleid/password of the owner


Edited by Bancho - 6/25/13 at 3:18pm
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post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkqd1337 View Post

and what's this 'Activation Lock' all about?

That's to stop people wiping your iPhone and setting it up as a new phone. When they attempt to do that they'll be asked for your Apple ID password to reactive the device.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

Better than before but still not good enough
Apple needs to do more

 

Right.  1rolleyes.gif

 

Maybe they need to apply magic, or some godlike powers they have?  They started off by doing more than anyone in the industry had ever done before, then they have steadily plugged security holes and come up with ideas to improve it that no one had ever thought of and no one was even asking for.  

 

Of course they have to do more (unspecified) things ... you know, ... in some (unspecified) way.  1rolleyes.gif 1rolleyes.gif  /s

Because they are clearly shirking off, and not being very good about this "robbery protection thing" that they f*cking practically invented singlehandedly. 

post #34 of 41
There is also a new beta of the Find my iPhone App itself. This beta can only be installed via xCode. It no doubt implements some of the features mentioned in the keynote that compliment this password requirement in settings. One feature noted was that if Location Services was turned off on the device, it would be activated if the device was put into lost mode and Location Services would turn off again one the device was recovered and correct iCloud password entered. Anyway, once you all get this info via your developer account you'll be ready to discuss it (or not due to the NDA.)
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

A truly determined thief would pop it in a signal blocking box until the battery dies or open it and pop the battery connector, shutting it off right away.

Agreed but 99.999% of thieves wouldn't even know what a signal blocking box is.

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post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tookieman2013 View Post

I could be wrong, but I believe during the keynote it was mentioned that this passcode would be required even after wiping the device. 
Good to hear that (thanks to others who remembered that part of the Keynote).

It's good to know; a couple of months ago I woke up to hear a smash downstairs and when I went down to take a look a masked man was in my lounge. He threatened me, I did what he said, he stole my IPhone, iPad and my housemate's MacBook Air. My housemate had called the police when he heard the smash, unbeknown to me, and I could hear sirens almost immediately. The police ran into the house a few minutes after he'd left, and they asked me what he'd taken. As soon as I told them one of the policemen asked if I had Find My iPhone enabled on the iPhone. I said yes and he pulled out his owniPhone and asked me to log in to the app. They tracked the guy over to Old Trafford (just outside Manchester where I live) and radioed a helicopter. The policeman in my lounge was describing to the helicopter over the radio the location of the phone. Unfortunately he seemed to stop moving before the helicopter got close enough, he must have realised what was happening and threw my iPhone into someone's back garden. He got away. I got my iPhone back though, completely undamaged (I'm typing on it now). Got a brand new iPad and my housemate got a brand new MacBook Air through insurance. But if that wanker got home to find he couldn't sell any of my stuff then that would make me feel a whole lot better!
post #37 of 41
it badly needs the option to require a password to power down, even if it just buys you an extra half and hour to track and put into lost mode
post #38 of 41

yes but they would probably have to take it home to do this, and if they can't turn it off they are tracked all the way home

post #39 of 41
Does the phone need to be on and connected to the network in order for me to activate Activation Lock? Or can I do it even if the SIM has been removed, the signal is blocked, or the device is powered off?
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

To those suggesting adding a passcode to turn off the device (since multiquote doesn't seem to work):

 

This could be difficult to implement in a way that didn't diminish the user experience. The buttons used to accomplish this are hardware buttons that function whether the device has become unresponsive, or not. Many times, the only reason someone may wish to shut the phone down is because it's become unresponsive (rare, but it happens). Requiring a passcode to power down the device would essentially brick the device until they could connect it to their computer or run the battery dead.

 

I think Apple's going in the right direction by ensuring the device can't be activated without entering the appleid/password of the owner

but if the hard wear buttons triggered a restart instead of a shut down, then that would solve the issue, you can recover from a unresponsive phone but a thief would be unable to power down

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