If your 5s gets stolen, thieves don't even have to deal with Touch ID to unlock it?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by user-name-here, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. user-name-here macrumors 65816

    Aug 31, 2013
    I thought Apple said the whole thing that is great about Touch ID is that it's great for security as your fingerprint is a password that no one else in the world has.

    So if that is true then why is it that if your 5s gets stolen the would be thieves don't have to deal with Touch ID at all? Instead after a certain amount of failed attempts (or phone reboot) the iPhone simply asks for your simple 4 digit password instead of a more secure fingerprint :confused:

    It seems that if the fingerprint is so much more secure than a 4 digit unlock code like Apple said then the iPhone shouldn't give thieves the option to bypass Touch ID so easily like it does...
  2. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    That isn't what Touch ID is for.

    Anytime you can swipe to unlock and enter a 4 digit code anyway.

    It's been added because a lot of people aren't adding pass codes because they are a hassle.
  3. woodynorman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    How would the thief know what your 4 digit backup passcode is?? Seems secure to me?
  4. user-name-here thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 31, 2013
    Ah, gotcha.

    For some reason I thought Touch ID would disable the ability to simply unlock via 4-digit code altogether (if you wanted) and instead always require the fingerprint for added security. Seems like Apple should have added the option to only unlock via fingerprint for those that want this more secure option.

    I guess it's more just to help out the lazy ones who didn't want to deal with passcodes in the first place.
  5. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    if thieves steal your iphone, then they have to deal with activation lock.

  6. CallOfDuty macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2012
    Once you have touch ID enabled you will be pretty much using it everytime you unlock your device. Even if thieves stole ur device and they had a chance to bypass touch ID using a passcode they can't because u rarely even use a passcode in the first place?
  7. OVERTASK macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2013
    Well the idea is that people will start using passcodes and hopefully they will be longer than the four number ones since they don't have to enter it often because of the Touch ID.
  8. user-name-here thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 31, 2013
    Ah, I thought that you could only use a 4-digit unlock code (less than ideal security) when using Touch ID. If you can put in a full password to use with it then that helps security wise.

    I still don't understand though: Why wouldn't Apple give us the ability to ONLY unlock via fingerprint if that's what we want? Seems like a super simple thing to include in iOS settings and would help give users who want it additional security :confused:
  9. Strax macrumors member

    May 4, 2013
    If your 5s gets stolen, thieves don't even have to deal with Touch ID to unlo...

    IF they get past the fingerprint AND have managed to guess your pass code, you should have had plenty of time to use Find My iPhone and put it in Lost Mode, in which case, they can't do anything without your Apple ID password. No reset, no restore, nothing. It's locked down.

    If you fail to set up and use Find My iPhone, then you're just going to have to live with the consequences of your actions.
  10. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Someone I work with had no idea about this when she misplaced her phone. I was going to use it to play that bing-bongy sound because I'm pretty sure it works even if the phone is on silent. But no, she had never set it up.

    Tip: When a $650 device comes with a "Here I am! Here I am!" function, set it up.
  11. BSDanalyst macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2013
    Hong Kong
    I have a feeling that there will be at least 1 news article about a stolen iphone and someone losing their thumb.
  12. smoothisfast macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2007
    You could turn off the simple password and use a long more random password.

    If the finger print ID is bypassed you would have to type in the long password.
  13. toohectic macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2010
    Even if you use a simple 4-digit password, you have to remember that you only get a limited number of attempts before the phone locks you out. So with 10000 options for a simple password, it's still relatively secure to brute force attempts. With a complex alphanumeric password/phrase, it'll be even better.
  14. Strax macrumors member

    May 4, 2013
    Well, I drink tea, not Kool-Aid, so I'll just be sticking with my perfectly functional 4 and not have to worry about anyone coveting my thumbs.
  15. acctman macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2012
    there is more to it than that. you will also need the original AppleID username/pass to gain access back into the phone, this is part of iOS7. So even if you do a remote wipe the thief will not be able to use the phone without knowing your original user/pass.
  16. zipa macrumors 65816

    Feb 19, 2010
    Not sure how "secure" a fingerprint reader is on a touchscreen device that will literally be covered by the very same fingerprint that is needed to unlock the device...
  17. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    Fingerprint readers just can't be 100% reliable.

    There are too many scenarios where it won't work, and you need a backup.
  18. steveza macrumors 68000


    Feb 20, 2008
    ... and what would they do once they have said thumb? They would still need to know your passcode to change the one that you set.
  19. ant1298 macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2011
    Quick question then...activation lock works when doing a restore and wipe etc. What happens if the thief does a DFU restore?

  20. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Oct 14, 2011
    And Activation Lock will prevent the thief from wiping and activating the phone again.
  21. Okes macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2008
    North Devon, UK
    I'd guess you might be in a co-operative mood with facing losing your thumb and give up your passcode? :eek:
  22. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    As the name implies, Activation Lock is triggered at activation.

    As such, any sort of restore or reset of the device where activation is required will require the iCloud account details.
  23. legioxi macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2013
    They can't activate the fresh phone without your iTunes account.
  24. steveza macrumors 68000


    Feb 20, 2008
    My point exactly, what they need is a passcode so chopping your thumb off serves no purpose other than escalating the charge from theft to aggravated assault.
  25. AdeFowler macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    The sensor will only detect live skin. Some people have been watching too many movies. ;)

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