iOS 7 Allows Siri to Disable Find My iPhone via Airplane Mode in Security/Convenience Trade-Off

by

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

(View all)
Avatar
90 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)
Avatar
90 months ago
I've already stolen 6 phones using this!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 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)
Avatar
90 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)
Avatar
90 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)
Avatar
90 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

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Apple Believes This German Cycling Path Logo Infringes on Its Own Logo

Wednesday May 1, 2019 9:51 am PDT by
Apple recently objected to the logo of a new German cycling path in an appeal filed with the German Patent and Trademark Office, according to German outlets General-Anzeiger Bonn and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Apple reportedly takes issue with the logo's green leaf and supposed "bitten" right side, attributes the company believes are too similar to its own logo. The logo, registered with the ...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...