Apple Confirms Activation Lock Safety Feature for watchOS 2

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Following today's big WWDC keynote address in San Francisco, a few new details and confirmations have been made about the Apple Watch, specifically regarding a crucial security feature for the wearable. Activation Lock, previously available for iPhones and iPads, was confirmed to be coming to Apple Watch with watchOS 2. The feature lets users secure their Apple Watch with their Apple ID, preventing malicious users from wiping or activating the wearable device if it gets lost or stolen.

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    In the days and weeks following the Apple Watch launch, many users questioned the device's security due to its inherent requiring of the iPhone to perform most of its tasks. With only a simple four-digit passcode protecting the wearable, it was discovered in early May that that code could be entirely bypassed with a simple settings wipe able to be performed by anyone who came into contact with your personal Apple Watch.

    With today's confirmation of Activation Lock for the Apple Watch, users concerned about losing or having the new Apple wearable stolen from them can no doubt feel a bit more at ease with the security of the device. Registered developers will be able to gain access to watchOS 2 starting today, with a wide public release coming sometime this fall.

    Article Link: Apple Confirms Activation Lock Safety Feature for watchOS 2
     
  2. Goldfrapp macrumors 601

    Goldfrapp

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    Well, now that there are more than 5 watches in the wild, this feature will be quite useful.
     
  3. currocj macrumors regular

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    Great, now thieves know they have a countdown for sellable apple watches...
     
  4. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

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    Apple: "Activation Lock ... lets users secure their Apple Watch with their Apple ID, preventing another user from wiping or activating the device if it is lost or stolen."

    Excellent news. Apple Watch now has a powerful theft disincentive built in, as it should have had from the start.
     
  5. Chatter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Finally! Not that I am worried about someone stealing my watch but why not have this in place.
     
  6. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

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    #6
    You can now be even less worried, but only because the feature now exists. :cool:

    "Measuring crime after Apple introduced Activation Lock alongside iOS 7 last Fall, police officers in San Francisco said that iPhone robberies in the city fell 38 percent, with London experiencing a 24 percent drop. Meanwhile, the New York Police Department said that iPhone robberies dropped 19 percent, while grand larcenies including the device dropped 29 percent in the first five months of 2014 compared to the same time period last year."

    http://www.macrumors.com/2014/06/19/ios7-activation-lock-reduce-theft-cities/
     
  7. McScooby macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Think you forgot to say million after 5!
     
  8. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    #8
    Are you seriously finding a negative about completely good news?
     
  9. slslv macrumors newbie

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    #9
    They seriously need to bring this feature in to their Mac lines as well. From what I understand with how things are right now, a simple hard drive swap can erase your computer and will let anyone use it as if it was theirs the entire time. If they could somehow integrate activation lock to the logic boards of the computer like they do with their phones, that would be an entirely new security feature in the PC world.
     
  10. displayblock macrumors member

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    Jul 31, 2014
    #10
    Setting a firmware password negates the threat of a hard drive swap. I agree that they need a more user friendly way of implementing them though. For now, using a firmware password + Find My Mac's locking feature will have to suffice. http://osxdaily.com/2014/01/06/set-firmware-password-mac/
     
  11. wkadamsjr macrumors 6502

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    I am pretty sure the lock does tie to the logic board. In my experience, there is no way to get around the Find My Mac lock unless you know the password that was set.
     
  12. redscull macrumors 6502a

    redscull

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    #12
    This feature on the iPhone, specifically, the lock-out time after failed attempts, is specifically why I and other parents I know continue to refuse to use a password on our devices. Does no one in charge at Apple have small children? Do you not understand that small children love Apple devices, and love pushing the buttons, repeatedly until it's locked-out for hours?!

    As a parent, this flaw in the design is so obvious it hurts. The lock-out feature needs to be flaggable off for those of us with little kids.
     
  13. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

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    #13
    As far as I'm concerned, its looks have always been a powerful theft deterrent.
     
  14. garya73 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    They should have a more aggressive timetable for WatchOS2 so this feature can be enabled as soon as possible. Release it to the developers now and only give them a short window to get their apps compatible before pushing it to all Apple Watches. Should be a mandatory update.
     
  15. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

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    #15
    Thieves are generally concerned only with selling what they steal.

    You won't find them pausing to reflect on their personal view of an item's aesthetics.

    If it's made by Apple and it doesn't have a built in feature that effectively renders it valueless if stolen, then it's an attractive target.
     
  16. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    Not likely to happen - any back door (whether it's using a Restrictions setting to disable the ability to set a lock screen passcode, or an option that allows the Restrictions passcode to override the lock screen passcode in the case of a lockout, or for a Touch ID fingerprint to over-ride a lockout) weakens security. From "no back door" we'd go to "potential back door." Corporate security types would not be happy.

    Kids will do the unpredictable. Yeah, some will guess at the lock screen passcode (or play punch-the-numbers) until the device is disabled. Others will drop the iPad in the bathtub to see if it floats. Others will try "cool tricks" they learned on the school yard (more than a few un-locked devices have become locked that way).

    As far as I'm concerned, the best thing a parent can do to defend against the lock screen passcode issue (as well as the bathtub scenario and every other child-related disaster) is to turn on iCloud Backup, and make sure the backups are actually being made every night (pay the extra $0.99/month for 20GB of storage, if need be). It won't prevent bad things from happening, but it definitely mitigates the impact of the disaster.
     

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