NewsApple's new 'Stolen Device Protection' spruces up iPhone security, curbing thieves' control even after cracking the code

Apple's new 'Stolen Device Protection' spruces up iPhone security, curbing thieves' control even after cracking the code

iPhones will receive a new, important security feature from Apple.
iPhones will receive a new, important security feature from Apple.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | DENYS PRYKHODOV
8:22 AM EST, December 14, 2023

This new safety measure provides protection from one of the most damaging threats - when an intruder learns your password. The feature, aptly named "Stolen Device Protection," is expected to substantially impede thieves' ability to use the device once they crack the code.

Unveiling a new security feature in iPhones

When this feature is activated, and the phone is in an unrecognized location, the device will necessitate both the password and facial recognition, or FaceID, to execute "sensitive actions," CNBC reports.

These sensitive actions could include displaying stored passwords or performing a phone wipe, essentially erasing data or resetting it to factory settings. A thief who succeeds in unlocking a stolen device with a code will be unable to access these "sensitive" settings or alter them. Moreover, without FaceID authentication, changing the password or disabling the FaceID protection will not be immediately feasible. Instead, a unique one-hour delay will be implemented, after which facial recognition will again be required.

This new feature is a rebuttal to a scam tactic uncovered by "The Wall Street Journal." In this con, the perpetrators either befriend or spy on their victims and somehow obtain their phone password, for instance, by asking to view photos. The thief then pilfers the phone and utilizes the stolen password to disarm any protection setup. Consequently, the stolen iPhone remains functional, inherently boosting its value compared to a locked device typically sold for parts.

iPhones to be improved with the new feature through an iOS update

(Note: CNBV mentions that on turning on an iPhone, almost every user must input a four or six-digit password code. All privacy settings and anti-theft protections have relied on this unique code, indicating that anyone possessing this password could completely hijack the device. Apple is touting the SDP mode as an "advanced new layer of security." This feature is only available to users testing the latest iOS: 17.3, although the company plans to roll out this update to a broader customer base in the coming weeks.

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