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
116 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
116 months ago
I've already stolen 6 phones using this!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gjwilly Avatar
116 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
116 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
116 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
116 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)

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