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

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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!

    Article Link: iOS 7 Allows Siri to Disable Find My iPhone via Airplane Mode in Security/Convenience Trade-Off
  2. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
  3. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    It's so tempting to upgrade to iOS 7 right now! I know the little kinks will kill me though.
    Ahh the dilemma!
  4. TheKrs1 macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    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?
  5. peteullo macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2009
    Scranton, PA
    It's not a flaw, it's a reason to upgrade to the new iPhone 5s! ;)
  6. sshhoott macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2010
    What if this is a trick which makes the thief think Find my iPhone is off when it really is on.
  7. Primus84 macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2005
  8. campingsk8er macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2011
    Elizabethtown, PA
    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?
  9. SimonTheSoundMa macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    Just swipe up for control centre, switch on air-plane mode. I disabled it on the lock screen for this very reason.
  10. TWSS37 macrumors 65816

    Feb 4, 2011
  11. killramos macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2008
    This isn't a bug or even news worthy. You can also enable airplane mode by swiping up on the lock screen WITHOUT your pass code . It's a feature, not a bug lol...

    I find it quite convenient...
  12. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    So now what do you do when you have a phone that isn't connected to cellular or Wifi, and you don't know the password :confused:

    But yeah they should fix that, I guess. At the same time, the same could be achieved by popping out the SIM.
  13. TheKrs1 macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    Apparently not, since it apparently only works on living tissue.
  14. TWSS37 macrumors 65816

    Feb 4, 2011
    I didnt say what it was easier for
  15. Solomani macrumors 68030


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    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)
  16. TheKrs1, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013

    TheKrs1 macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    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.
  17. needfx, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013

    needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
  18. Superdrive macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    I had to frustratingly turn CC off on the lock screen for this reason. A pass code should be required for some tasks.

    Edit: A code (if enabled) should be required to turn the phone off too.
  19. joejoejoe macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2006
    They should remove the functionality from Siri, but being that Airplane Mode is also controlled by control center, that won't really help the average user.

    Apple should necessitate a passcode to turn on airplane mode and to turn off the phone. Will be easier for users to swallow once the fingerprint sensor becomes more ubiquitous but this is really the only way we can fully prevent thieves from disabling find my iphone quickly.
  20. nikhsub1 macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    Anyone who has siri enabled when the phone is locked is asking for trouble... if you DISABLE siri on the lockscreen, there is no issue whatsoever. However, as stated you can turn airplane mode on via control center anyway...
  21. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    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?
  22. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    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?
  23. edgonzalez32 macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2011
  24. SimonTheSoundMa macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    This is one thing I really want!
  25. mrbrown macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2004
    Ozark, Missouri
    This headline is totally misleading. It's one thing if you could tell Siri, "Disable Find my iPhone" while it was locked... it's something totally different if you can just enable Airplane Mode.

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