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  • Officials Cautiously Optimistic with iOS 7 Anti-Theft Features


    Many of the vocal critics of Apple’s efforts to prevent mobile theft device including the Attorneys General of San Francisco and New York are seemingly a bit more optimistic in the wake of Apple’s unveiling of a new anti-theft mechanism. Both New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco Attorney General George Gascón have made headlines over the past several months calling out Apple and other smartphone industry players for not doing enough to deter the theft of mobile devices. Both have recently shown a change of heart and said they’re encouraged by the new Activation Lock Apple will be adding to iPhones and iPads with the new iOS 7. The two prosecutors told the Associated Press the following in a joint written statement:

    We are appreciative of the gesture made by Apple to address smartphone theft. We reserve judgment on the activation lock feature until we can understand its actual functionality.
    According to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly one out of every three robberies nationwide involves a mobile phone. The two prosecutors say that smartphone manufacturers could virtually eliminate the market for stolen phones by building the ability to render the devices useless when stolen. Apple appears to have developed a such a technology if the company’s WWDC claims are true. The new Activation Lock feature, according to Apple will keep a phone from being activate even if a thief wipes the device’s memory entirely. Additionally, iPhones and iPads have a Find My iPhone feature that will display the device’s approximate location on a map.

    Both Gascón and Schneiderman have invited Apple and other smartphone makers to attend a Smartphone Summit this week in New York, where attendees will discuss ways to prevent smartphone theft. Representatives from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung have agreed to attend the meeting, which will take place this upcoming Friday. Gascón says the ball is entirely in the smartphone makers’ court when it comes to stopping mobile device theft. He made the following remarks about the topic:

    With 1.6 million Americans falling victim to smartphone theft in 2012, this has become a national epidemic. Unlike other types of crimes, smartphone theft can be eradicated with a simple technological solution.
    What do you think of the new security solution Apple has put into place?

    Source: Associated Press
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Officials Cautiously Optimistic with iOS 7 Anti-Theft Features started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 34 Comments
    1. MXCO's Avatar
      MXCO -
      No more cheap phones on Craigslist hahaha jk. I dig this 👍 I'm actually looking forward to this.
    1. xhazex9x's Avatar
      xhazex9x -
      when they say "wipe the devices memory" i feel like theyre only talking about doing a "reset all settings" from the phones settings app, i wonder if a dfu restore will still work and bypass this i feel like it will
    1. Doran's Avatar
      Doran -
      I would have to see this in action also. I agree with xhazex9x, DFU restore would be a great test.
    1. trevorrawson's Avatar
      trevorrawson -
      Quote Originally Posted by xhazex9x View Post
      when they say "wipe the devices memory" i feel like theyre only talking about doing a "reset all settings" from the phones settings app, i wonder if a dfu restore will still work and bypass this i feel like it will
      In the keynote address they mention that the phone can not be used again even if it is completely wiped. I would expect this to mean that even if the HDD is erased and the software restored, the phone will still not be usable. I would also love it if the "find my iPhone" feature came turned on as standard instead of having to turn it on. I know most people don't even know it's on there. And lets be honest, for all I love Apple their user manuals are nothing more than how to charge and turn it on.
    1. x13dk's Avatar
      x13dk -
      What about those lost or stolen iPhone that happen past few month will this work on then or it won't anyone because they been restored and use with different apple ID?
    1. Answer1o1's Avatar
      Answer1o1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by x13dk View Post
      What about those lost or stolen iPhone that happen past few month will this work on then or it won't anyone because they been restored and use with different apple ID?
      I think this will only work on iOS 7+ devices. Once you swap a stolen phone at Apple I'm pretty sure you're off the hook. That's my guess I could be wrong
    1. 2k1's Avatar
      2k1 -
      I would think just on iOS 7 phones this will work on.
    1. peu's Avatar
      peu -
      Quote Originally Posted by xhazex9x View Post
      when they say "wipe the devices memory" i feel like theyre only talking about doing a "reset all settings" from the phones settings app, i wonder if a dfu restore will still work and bypass this i feel like it will
      It will not, because its Apple servers who now know the device is stolen and will not activate it unless you provide proper credentials to itunes.
    1. AKCHRIS's Avatar
      AKCHRIS -
      This is all Nice And Dandy,But let's face it, no matter HOW many security improvements You Make..there's always the Human factor of the equation that people are just plain stupid. The way Most people lose their phones are Mind boggling. Like putting it down on a Table at a restaurant & leaving it, or leaving at the Bar because you didn't want to loose it..lol. What they need ta do is get a Tag of some sort for the iPhone so Dumb people whom forget their iPhones get a Slit Shock reminding them, THAT would be innovative in itself.
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by AKCHRIS View Post
      This is all Nice And Dandy,But let's face it, no matter HOW many security improvements You Make..there's always the Human factor of the equation that people are just plain stupid. The way Most people lose their phones are Mind boggling. Like putting it down on a Table at a restaurant & leaving it, or leaving at the Bar because you didn't want to loose it..lol. What they need ta do is get a Tag of some sort for the iPhone so Dumb people whom forget their iPhones get a Slit Shock reminding them, THAT would be innovative in itself.
      I wonder if a Bluetooth bracelet could be made of some sort that'll shock the owner if he/she goes farther than 10' from the phone.
    1. Xiao Bing's Avatar
      Xiao Bing -
      What about if I buy an iPhone from eBay and the seller wipes it without activating it again. When I receive the phone will I be able to activate it without the sellers Apple ID? Cause I doubt they will give me their Apple ID and Password to activate the iPhone....
    1. barondebxl's Avatar
      barondebxl -
      Ironic how there's an anti theft thing on the iphone but IOS 7 has stolen everything from android and other platform including the quick access to settings, the notification bar, the theme, the multitasking, the tabs in safari, the list is too long for me to mention it all. Apple is the biggest thief and copy so much from android. They should be ashamed of themselves.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Xiao Bing View Post
      What about if I buy an iPhone from eBay and the seller wipes it without activating it again. When I receive the phone will I be able to activate it without the sellers Apple ID? Cause I doubt they will give me their Apple ID and Password to activate the iPhone....
      I assume they'd have to restore it then enter their info, first. Then, whenever a new user gets it, the phone is officially activated and the phone info can be changed to the new owner.

      Plus...it wouldn't be reported as stolen!

      Quote Originally Posted by barondebxl View Post
      Ironic how there's an anti theft thing on the iphone but IOS 7 has stolen everything from android and other platform including the quick access to settings, the notification bar, the theme, the multitasking, the tabs in safari, the list is too long for me to mention it all. Apple is the biggest thief and copy so much from android. They should be ashamed of themselves.
      Thanx for the rant! Would you like a warm bottle so you can go night-night, now?
    1. iBanks's Avatar
      iBanks -
      A couple things new in beta 1...
      - When connecting device to an different computer than your original one, the device prompts an alert asking if your device is to trust this computer or not
      - iTunes will not restore your device by clicking on the "Restore" button if FMI is turned on.
      - To disable FMI on your device, you MUST type in your apple ID password after hitting the toggle switch to off.
    1. EVO's Avatar
      EVO -
      it would definitely be interesting to see the process when the ownership, i.e. selling the phone, is transferred to another person
    1. mmaboi21's Avatar
      mmaboi21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by trevorrawson View Post
      In the keynote address they mention that the phone can not be used again even if it is completely wiped. I would expect this to mean that even if the HDD is erased and the software restored, the phone will still not be usable. I would also love it if the "find my iPhone" feature came turned on as standard instead of having to turn it on. I know most people don't even know it's on there. And lets be honest, for all I love Apple their user manuals are nothing more than how to charge and turn it on.
      The initial setup asks if you want to enable it. People are very aware they just don't pay attention.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by iBanks View Post
      A couple things new in beta 1...
      - When connecting device to an different computer than your original one, the device prompts an alert asking if your device is to trust this computer or not
      - iTunes will not restore your device by clicking on the "Restore" button if FMI is turned on.
      - To disable FMI on your device, you MUST type in your apple ID password after hitting the toggle switch to off.
      So maybe its as simple as disabling FMI when you're buying/selling an iDevice!
    1. ThatOneProfile's Avatar
      ThatOneProfile -
      Android users beware.
    1. phreakwenci's Avatar
      phreakwenci -
      but can it save an encrypted backup to that computer still? cuz if so that can be manipulated to give up keychains with the right software.
    1. DaCodec's Avatar
      DaCodec -
      Quote Originally Posted by trevorrawson View Post
      ...And lets be honest, for all I love Apple their user manuals are nothing more than how to charge and turn it on.
      Did you ever take a look at the bookmarks on safari (on your iPhone)? There's a wonderful link names "iPhone User Guide". Yeah, it's all there: Find my iPhone is explained in Basics > Security Features