In iOS 7, Siri can change a number of settings on the iPhone, including toggling Bluetooth on and off or changing the screen brightness. As one MacRumors reader noticed, Siri can also activate Airplane Mode, even if a passcode lock is set, allowing a thief to effectively disable Find My iPhone on a stolen device.

Airplanemode
However, Apple has added some extensive security features to deter phone theft in iOS 7, most notably the Activation Lock feature that prevents a lost or stolen iPhone from being activated without the Apple ID password used to erase the phone.

Activation Lock makes it so that even if a phone is stolen, Find My iPhone disabled, and then erased, the phone is still unable to be activated and used without the proper Apple ID.

San Francisco District Attorney came out in support of Activation Lock, saying that "clear improvements" had been made to deter criminals.

Update: Commenters have noted that users can also turn Airplane Mode on from the Control Center by swiping up from the lock screen. Lock screen Control Center access can be disabled from the Settings/Control Center panel. Find My iPhone can also be effectively disabled by turning the phone off.

Thanks Greg!

Top Rated Comments

TheKrs1 Avatar
101 months ago
To be fair, this doesn't actually disable Find my Phone. It just interrupts the connectivity of the device. Which they could also do by powering off the phone, or putting in an area with no service?
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
101 months ago
I've already stolen 6 phones using this!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gjwilly Avatar
101 months ago
This is a total non-story.
Is turning off the phone also a security flaw because that also disables Find My iPhone?
What's the thief going to do?
Keep it in Airplane mode forever and just get his jollies playing with your Angry Birds?
:rolleyes:
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheKrs1 Avatar
101 months ago
Sometimes, I think its worse to announce things, such as this, allowing a thief to effectively do this. I'm not saying things don't fall through, but how is it that all of us developers( and even more non-developers) had iOS7 for 3 months now, and it hasn't come up until now?

Because it isn't a flaw with Find My iPhone. It doesn't disable the app or the functionality. Someone is just jumping up and down because a theif can use siri to disable the phones radios, thereby hindering Find my iPhone from tracking the device. ... Which, the theif can just as easily do by turning the device off.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
101 months ago
More nothing stories just to increase page views. If this is such a security flaw why is it just coming up now when devs have had iOS for months?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Solomani Avatar
101 months ago
Thief: Siri, enable Airplane Mode.

Siri: Yes, of course. As soon as I identify your valid fingerprint, Sir.

Thief: Damn you, Siri! Damn you!

Siri: (quietly reporting the location of thief to authorities and stolen iPhone registry)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone12protriplelenscamera

Apple's Orders for Key iPhone 13 Camera Component Expected to Outstrip Entire Android Market

Wednesday June 9, 2021 12:47 am PDT by
Major camera upgrades coming to the iPhone 13 series are putting increased pressure on suppliers to meet Apple's demand for key lens components, according to a new DigiTimes report. Apple has reportedly put Taiwan-based makers of voice coil motor (VCM) components on notice to increase their capacity by 30-40% in order to meet the company's demand, which is expected to outstrip the entire...
macos monterey setup assistant

macOS Monterey Allows You to Erase a Mac Without Needing to Reinstall the Operating System

Wednesday June 9, 2021 4:41 pm PDT by
It's been a few days since Apple announced macOS Monterey, and we continue to dig through new features that weren't mentioned during the WWDC keynote, including a much more convenient way of erasing a Mac. Following in the footsteps of the iPhone and iPad, the Mac has gained an "Erase All Content and Settings" option on macOS Monterey. The option allows you to erase all user data and...
EEC Apple iphone 13

Apple Registers iPhone 13 Models in Eurasia Ahead of September Launch

Friday June 11, 2021 2:16 am PDT by
Nashville Chatter Class has discovered a new Russian-language regulatory filing in the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) database pointing towards several unreleased iPhone 13 models that Apple will be launching in the fall. Versions of iPhone running iOS 14 are listed with the model numbers A2628, A2630, A2634, A2635, A2640, A2643, and A2645. None of the numbers correspond to Apple's...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky iOS App, Website, and API Now Scheduled to Remain Available Until End of 2022

Thursday June 10, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Last year, Apple acquired the weather app Dark Sky, and shortly after its purchase, Apple shut down the app for Android. Despite the revamped iOS 15 Weather app taking heavy inspiration from Dark Sky, the weather's app standalone iOS app, web app, and API will remain available until the end of next year, compared to the end of this year, as previously planned. Dark Sky announced in an update ...
mr white ipod touch 5 protoype3

Unreleased iPod Touch 5 With Chamfered Edges and 30-Pin Dock Connector Shared Online

Thursday June 10, 2021 2:05 am PDT by
Occasional leaker Mr White has today shared interesting images on Twitter of what appears to be an old-school fifth-generation iPod touch prototype with chamfered edges and a brushed aluminum finish. The original iPod touch 5 that Apple released in October 2012 had a unibody anodized aluminum chassis with rounded edges, and was available in several colors, including slate. Another...
live text macos monterey

Several macOS Monterey Features Unavailable on Intel-Based Macs

Wednesday June 9, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
While there are many great new features in macOS Monterey, several of them are not available on Intel-based Macs, according to Apple. On the macOS Monterey features page, fine print indicates that the following features require a Mac with the M1 chip, including any MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac model released since November 2020:Portrait Mode blurred backgrounds in...
ipad mini 6

Next iPad Mini Will Allegedly Feature Thinner Bezels, USB-C Port, and Touch ID Power Button

Friday June 11, 2021 1:13 pm PDT by
On his newly launched Front Page Tech website, leaker Jon Prosser has shared renders showing off the alleged design of the next-generation iPad mini, which he says are based on schematics, CAD files, and real images of the device. In line with details shared earlier this month by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, Prosser claims that the new iPad mini will feature slimmer bezels around...
apple logo plain

Trump Administration Subpoenaed Apple for Data on Two House Intelligence Committee Democrats

Thursday June 10, 2021 6:21 pm PDT by
When investigating leaks of classified information during the early days of the Trump Administration, the United States Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for metadata from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, reports The New York Times. Apple was also required to provide data from their aides and family members, with the DoJ requesting the records of...
macos monterey tidbits feature copy

macOS Monterey Tidbits: Animated Memoji on Login Screen, Change the Color of the Mouse Pointer, and More

Friday June 11, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
We've highlighted several new features coming in macOS Monterey, such as Low Power Mode and the option to erase a Mac without reinstalling the operating system, but there are some smaller tidbits that we wanted to share. Animated Memoji on Login Screen One small but fun new feature in macOS Monterey is the addition of a personalized Memoji on the login screen, complete with animated facial...
ios15 mail privacy feature

Apple Putting a Stop to Email Tracking Pixels With Mail Privacy Protection in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Thursday June 10, 2021 11:03 am PDT by
Tracking when you've opened up an email and what you've read is something that many companies and advertisers rely on for their marketing efforts, plus there are email clients out there designed to let users know when the emails they've sent have been opened up. Much of this tracking is facilitated by remote images that load when viewing an email, and some of it is even sneakier, with...