iPhone Mess: they are watching your every move: three steps to protect yourself

By | April 30, 2023

iphone: Cheaters block users from their mobiles. What you need to do right away to protect yourself and your iPhone. All the details in xristika.gr.

Many mobile phone owners think about what they will do if their device is stolen and taken away.

In the last few hours, in fact, a complex but disturbing method has been circulating on social networks and websites, with which thieves “lock” iPhone users, preventing them from having access to the device and its files. . This is the “recovery key”.

In particular, some iPhone thieves are taking advantage of this security setting, making it nearly impossible for owners to access their photos, messages, data, and other information, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.

Some victims also said their bank accounts were emptied after the crooks gained access to their financial apps.

It is noted, however, that the above is difficult to implement. It requires a criminal to actually look at an iPhone user entering the device’s passcode, for example by looking over their shoulder at a bar or sporting event, or to manipulate the device owner into sharing their passcode. And all this before the device is actually stolen.

Beyond that, though, a thief could use the passcode to change the device’s Apple ID, disable Find My iPhone so it can’t be located, and then reset the recovery key, a complex 28-digit code meant to to protect their owners from the Internet. hackers

Apple requires this key to reset or regain access to an Apple ID in an effort to increase user security, but if a thief changes it, the actual owner will not have the new code and will not be able to access the account.

“We empathize with the people who have had this experience and take all attacks against our users, no matter how rare,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.

“We work tirelessly every day to protect our users’ accounts and data, and we are always investigating additional protections against new threats like this one,” he adds.

On its website, Apple warns that “you are responsible for maintaining access to your trusted devices and recovery key. If you lose these two details, your account may be permanently locked.”

Jeff Pollard, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, said the company should offer more customer support options and “ways to authenticate Apple users so they can reset these settings.”

For now though, there are a number of steps users can take to potentially protect themselves from this happening to them.

iPhone: password protection

The first step is password protection.

An Apple spokesperson told CNN that users can use Face ID or Touch ID when unlocking their phone in public to avoid giving away their password to anyone who might be watching.

Users can also set a longer alphanumeric password that is more difficult for criminals to crack.

Device owners should also change their password immediately if they think someone else has seen it.

iPhone: screen time settings

Another step that might be considered is a… hack that isn’t necessarily supported by Apple, but is making the rounds on the internet.

Within an iPhone’s Screen Time settings, which allow guardians to set restrictions on how children can use the device, there is the option to set a secondary passcode that will be required of each user before they can switch with success an Apple ID.

By enabling this feature, the thief will be prompted for this second password before changing an Apple ID password.

iPhone: backup at regular intervals

Finally, users can protect themselves by regularly backing up their iPhone, via iCloud or iTunes, so that data can be recovered if the iPhone is stolen.

At the same time, users may consider storing important photos or other sensitive files and data on another cloud service, such as Google Photos, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Photos, or Dropbox.

This will not prevent an attacker from gaining access to the device, but it will limit some of the impact.

iPhone: If It’s Stolen, Do This: How to Lock It Forever

A security feature on iPhone phones allows fraudsters to gain access to the device while preventing users from finding their stolen device.

The Wall Street Journal reveals how “bad actors” can exploit a device security feature called a recovery key.

Bad Actors is a blocking tool that prevents device owners from using it by blocking them. WSJ informs user Creg Frasca, who has been blocked from accessing his device since last October.

Frasca said he is willing to fly to Cupertino to prove to Apple that he owns the device, but also to pay $10,000 to regain control of his device.

This is because he has photos of his daughters from 8 years ago on the device that he does not want to lose for any reason.

But Frasca is not the only one, since there are many users with the same problem.

Someone stole Frasca’s cell phone from a Chicago bar and used the unlock code, which he likely saw before he stole the device, to change his Apple ID password.

They later made sure Frasca couldn’t take control of his device again by activating the recovery key.

Recovery Key was originally released in 2020 by Apple.

When enabled, it generates a 28-digit code, which is required each time the user wants to change their Apple ID password. However, if the user hasn’t activated it and those who steal the device do, then the user loses access to their account and there is no going back.

Apple through a spokesperson said:

“We stand in solidarity with the people who have had this experience and we take all attacks on our users, no matter how rare, very seriously.

We work tirelessly every day to protect our users’ accounts and data, and are always investigating additional protections against emerging threats like this.”

To generate the security key you can go to your iPhone or iPad and follow these instructions:

  • Go to settings > Your name > Password and security
  • Click on Account Recovery
  • Activate the option
  • Click Use device recovery and enter your password.
  • Keep the recovery key written down in a safe place
  • The recovery key is confirmed on the next screen

The problem with this implementation is that you can easily lose your recovery key, whether you have it on paper or stored somewhere digitally.

If this happens, say goodbye to your data if you lose your phone, once and for all. On the other hand, if you don’t lose it and find a way to keep it safe and secure, then in the event of theft, you’ll keep your data and passwords safe.

If you have the recovery key, Apple will ask you to use it, along with a phone you registered and an Apple device to do the recovery.

But even Apple admits that losing your recovery key means you won’t be able to access your account permanently.

In fact, crowded places are a common place for something like this to happen if your device is stolen, where many people can see the code to unlock your device.

If the thief sees the code, they can easily steal your device and lock it forever.

It then activates the recovery key and locks you out of your account forever.

So far, only one user has managed to get Apple right.

Terry Allen’s reason, after months of trying with Apple, he found a good representative who took the time to ask Allen questions to confirm Allen’s identity.

Then he disabled the recovery key, and Allen regained access to his data and the photos that had been the reason he spent so many months of his life trying to figure it out.

He said he was lucky and now he always keeps a backup of his photos.

Therefore, it is good to use strong codes for the cases where we cannot unlock the device with FaceID.

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