Theft of the iPhone and iPad in 2013 contributed to the rise of crime in New York City last year with the NYPD reporting that nearly 20% of all reported grand larcenies that occurred in the city were iPhone or iPad related with 8,465 reported incidents. While the San Francisco police last year called on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to make theft more traceable, the NYPD went the opposite way saying that Apple “led the industry in helping customers protect their lost or stolen devices” with its Find My iPhone and Find My iPad apps.
While it seems each month there is at least one story about the police or an iPhone/iPad user recovering their devices through the “Find My” apps, thieves in the know needn’t worry about this anymore, if they stay up to date on their tech news that is.
For those that hope that Find My iPhone will help them locate a lost or stolen iPhone, the chances of that just got slimmer as a major security flaw was recently found in the iOS 7 and iOS 7.1. YouTube user Miguel Alvarado uploaded the video that shows how its done.
Thieves simply need to tap on the toggle next to Find My iPhone and the Delete Account button in iCloud setting at the same time, a little tricky but very doable, the cycle the power of the phone. With that done, the phone can be turned on again at which time the thief can delete the iCloud account associated with the phone without the need for a password. It should be pointed out, that in order for thieves to do this they need access to the phone’s settings, something impossible if the phone is protected by a PIN code. So, lock your phone if it isn’t already.
After these steps are taken, thieves can plug the phone into iTunes and wipe the device and restore it without issue.
This it the second hack in less than half a year that makes disabling Find My iPhone a snap, this one however is far more serious.