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  1. #1

    Find My iPhone Doesn't Work Against Thieves

    I don’t really understand. If it’s not connected to the Internet when the screen is locked then how do I receive all my notifications, emails, messages etc?
    Am I totally misunderstanding you?
    Perhaps he swiped up and put it in airplane mode?
    I also wonder why people steal them.. Maybe they just hope there’s no passcode.

  2. #2
    Huh? I don’t think it works like that…
    I turned off my iPhone just now, turned it back on again. It immediately connects to the cellular network.
    The only way you could prevent that is by leaving it off always or pulling the SIM card. Which makes it even more useless than it already is if stolen.

  3. #3
    The thief must be keeping your phone switched off or have pulled the SIM.
    Sure in that case Find my iPhone won’t work and the thief has an iPhone that will never work either.
    If the thief decides to turns it on with an activated SIM of any carrier it will check back to base and your various locking requests will happen.
    Advise Apple and your Carrier (see who cares more).
    I suppose the thief could keep it in airplane mode as mentioned above… and look at your lock screen photo for ever. Might be fun.

  4. #4
    I had this discussion when the Find My iPhone idea was first being tossed about. Essentially, this whole security system could be potentially worked around by restoring the phone’s firmware while connecting to a fake server claiming to be Apple’s. Remember, even if an iPhone is restored in DFU mode, it needs to ping a specific IP Address for the all-clear signal. If the address is being spoofed by a local device that sends out only all-clear signals, then the phone is cleared for use.
    I suspect this is how a thief would be able to sell a working iPhone, even if Find My iPhone was previously enabled. They may just sell them to a third party that "fixes" them en masse and then charges full price. That said, the phone may well work up until the new owner decides to upgrade their software or restore the phone as new, since it’s going to then communicate with the Apple server. However, even this could be prevented if that third party uploaded slightly modified code that prevented the iPhone from contacting the Find My iPhone server. I’m sure Apple security is aware of such a potential attack vector, but it’s likely of minimal concern to them, since theft of iOS device has plummeted since the system’s implementation, and there are far fewer parties able to exploit this vector than there are actual thieves.

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