New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Government Officials Bring in Security Experts to Test iOS 7's Activation Lock Feature

After launching an investigation into the anti-theft practices of smartphone manufacturers like Apple, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón will today test how Apple’s Activation Lock feature holds up against determined thieves, reports CNET.

First introduced at WWDC, Activation Lock is designed to prevent Find My iPhone from being deactivated, which keeps stolen iPhones from being wiped and reactivated. The feature is included in iOS 7, which is expected to be released to consumers this fall.

federighi_activation_lock
Gascón and Schneiderman are planning to bring in security experts from the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center to attempt to bypass Activation Lock in order to gain access to an iPhone. The security team will also test the Lojack for Android software on a Samsung Galaxy S4.
"While we are appreciative of the efforts made by Apple and Samsung to improve security of the devices they sell, we are not going to take them at their word," Schneiderman and Gascón said in a joint statement. "Today we will assess the solutions they are proposing and see if they stand up to the tactics commonly employed by thieves."
The two officials have pushed for greater anti-theft measures from cell phone manufacturers after a spike in mobile device thefts. While carriers agreed last year to develop a centralized database to track stolen phones, it has proven to be largely ineffectual. Both Gascón and Schneiderman have stated that they believe Activation Lock is an inadequate theft deterrent and Gascón has urged Apple to implement a "kill switch" that would permanently disable stolen iOS devices.

The results of the Activation Lock investigation are expected to be released later today.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

18 months ago
This isn't their job. Doesn't the government have more important work to do?
Rating: 16 Votes
18 months ago
Why is this something the government needs to be involved in? If Apple can't protect consumers themselves, then people might not want to buy an iPhone with their next purchase.

Apple, known for jumping through all sorts of hoops to keep any remotely negative experience away from the iEcosystem, has far more incentive to deter theft than the government.
Rating: 14 Votes
18 months ago
Oh so glad the government is getting involved... I mean I trust them more than Apple. :rolleyes:

----------

This isn't their job. Doesn't the government have more important work to do?


Spying on us is so June 2013 government, this is good guy July 2013 gubment.
Rating: 10 Votes
18 months ago
Samsung didn't make an effort. Lojack is a third party service.
Rating: 10 Votes
18 months ago

Why is this something the government needs to be involved in? If Apple can't protect consumers themselves, then people might not want to buy an iPhone with their next purchase.


Because I'm sure they want a back door. Can't have stolen phones, but they still want on demand access to your device. Political jab aside, this is pretty unnecessary. I don't see lo-jack being mandatory on all new cars, or remote kill switches.
Rating: 9 Votes
18 months ago

How does this work. Do we just use find my iphone to wipe the phone?


If the phone is wiped in any way (iCloud remote wipe, reset from Settings, DFU restore), if Find My iPhone is on, you HAVE to enter the iCloud credentials of the original owner to move past it. You also have to enter the iCloud credentials to disable Find My iPhone.
Rating: 9 Votes
18 months ago

Both Gascón and Schneiderman have stated that they believe Activation Lock is an inadequate theft deterrent and Gascón has urged Apple to implement a "kill switch" that would permanently disable stolen iOS devices.


I found it irresponsible for them to make such statement BEFORE completing the test and announcing the results?

If they understand how Activation Lock works, it IS a so-called "kill-switch". It's just happened to be activated via the Find-my-phone mechanism.
Rating: 8 Votes
18 months ago

The problem with stolen merchandise of any type is very easy to solve. You find the criminals and kill them. However NY being run by a bunch of liberal zombies seems to believe that you solve illegal activities by making life difficult for everybody.

The big problem here is that they are trying to spread their influence nation wide by attacking the likes of Apple outside of their jurisdiction. It really is pathetic actually.


Where do these jokers come from. :rolleyes:
Rating: 8 Votes
18 months ago

Couldn't the thief just jalibreak the phone or put it DFU mode or something?


nope.
Rating: 7 Votes
18 months ago

The problem with stolen merchandise of any type is very easy to solve. You find the criminals and kill them. However NY being run by a bunch of liberal zombies seems to believe that you solve illegal activities by making life difficult for everybody.

By the way I'm serious here, public executions would go a very long way to solving many of today's social ills. Instead NY has created a permissive environment for the criminal while at the same time making life difficult for the average law advising person. It is no wonder that NY is often seen as the least free state in the union.

The big problem here is that they are trying to spread their influence nation wide by attacking the likes of Apple outside of their jurisdiction. It really is pathetic actually.



No, you mean they are not Texas.

You describe a police state where people are killed for stealing a mobile phone.

If someone steals my iphone, i would not want the person dead its a phone..
Rating: 7 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]