Apple Temporarily Halts Over-the-Phone iCloud Password Resets [Updated]

icloud icon 399x400Wired reports that Apple has ordered its support staff to temporarily stop processing AppleID password changes over the phone.

The move is a response to the experience of Wired reporter Mat Honan who had his iCloud account hacked which resulted in the remote-wipe of his iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air.

An Apple worker with knowledge of the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Wired that the over-the-phone password freeze would last at least 24 hours. The employee speculated that the freeze was put in place to give Apple more time to determine what security policies needed to be changed, if any.

Wired was able to confirm the policy change by calling Apple Support and attempting to reset the password on an iCloud account.

Meanwhile, Amazon has also changed their policy in the wake of the hacking report. Amazon no longer allows people to call in and change their credit card or email address settings. Hackers had taken advantage of Amazon's policies in order to expose the last four digits of Honan's credit card which was then used to take over his iCloud account.

Update: Apple has issued a statement to Wired confirming the suspension of password resets over the phone and promising greater security once the functionality is restored.

“We’ve temporarily suspended the ability to reset AppleID passwords over the phone,” Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris told Wired via email. “We’re asking customers who need to reset their password to continue to use our online iForgot system (iforgot.apple.com).

“This system can reset a password in one of two ways – either have a password reset sent to an alternate email address already on record or challenge the customer to answer security questions they had previously set up. When we resume over the phone password resets, customers will be required to provide even stronger identify verification to reset their password.”

Top Rated Comments

GfPQqmcRKUvP Avatar
137 months ago
Can we bring back downvotes? I like expressing my displeasure with certain posts.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Vercingetorix Avatar
137 months ago
great more inconvenience if we do indeed lose our password....

If people are careless enough to A) lose their passwords and B) forget the answers to their security questions, they deserve to be tremendously inconvenienced while they try to prove their identities. Why should everybody else's identities be more vulnerable because some people are stupid?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kwill Avatar
137 months ago
Hello, I'm Tim Cook and I forgot my password. Give me access or you're fired. :rolleyes:
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gregwyattjr Avatar
137 months ago
iCloud feels snappier.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
koobcamuk Avatar
137 months ago
Good; it's a huge security flaw.

My advice to everyone, is to use at least TimeMachine, and to disable remote wipe of your macbook. It'd be more useful to use logmein or teamviewer.

Backup is the most important step.

Then backup.

Then backup the backup.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SprodeBoy Avatar
137 months ago


Backup is the most important step.

Then backup.

Then backup the backup.

As a video editor, that was a description of my life.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
Apple Pay Later Quick Green Feature

Apple Pay Later Launching 'Soon'

Thursday February 2, 2023 2:10 pm PST by
The Apple Pay Later service that Apple has in the works is set to launch "soon," Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC ahead of today's earnings call for the first fiscal quarter of 2023. Cook said that Apple employees are beta testing the Apple Pay Later feature, which will help Apple boost services revenue. "It will be launching soon," Cook said. Apple Pay Later was first previewed at the...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...