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iOS 7 Bug Allows Disabling of 'Find My iPhone' Without Password

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,503
11,882



A bug in the current version of iOS 7 appears to allow users to disable Find my iPhone on a device without typing in a password, which effectively hides it from being located on iCloud.com.

Deactivating Find My iPhone takes just a few simple steps and it can be easily repeated on devices running the current version of iOS (7.0.4). The exploit involves making a few simple changes to the iCloud account section of the Settings app.

Video via Bradley Williams
MacRumors has been able to successfully replicate this bug on an iPhone and an iPad running iOS 7.0.4, but could not get it to work on a device running iOS 7.1, so the flaw will likely be fixed with the upcoming update.

This is a potentially serious bug as Find My iPhone is a useful method of locating a lost device. While this exploit does disable Find My iPhone and allow for an iOS device to be erased, it does not remove Apple's Activation Lock theft deterrent system. After being erased, the device will remain locked to the original account and continue to ask for that Apple ID and password during the setup process to resume functionality.

The bypass only works on a device that does not have Touch ID or a Passcode enabled, as the exploit requires access to the Settings menu. To avoid having Find My iPhone disabled, users should update their phones with a Passcode and install iOS 7.1 when Apple releases the software.

MacRumors has contacted Apple for comment on the exploit and we will update if we receive new information.

Article Link: iOS 7 Bug Allows Disabling of 'Find My iPhone' Without Password
 

H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
4,704
5,774
There is always some obscure security bug that affects iOS. I find it astonishing that Apple done know about them and equally that people find them.
 

djtech42

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2012
1,430
49
Mason, OH
Hopefully it is fixed now. It's a serious issue because they have been emphasizing the fact that it can't be turned off without a password.
 

Blorzoga

macrumors 68030
May 21, 2010
2,559
64
Don't you folks at MacRumors realize that by posting a thread like this, you tip off thieves to a way of successfully thwarting Apple's find-my-iphone security. Maybe this should not be posted?!?!?!? Now you've given every thief who monitors this site a head start until Apple fixes. Well done MacRumors!!!!
 

AbSoluTc

macrumors 601
Sep 21, 2008
4,559
2,944
There is always some obscure security bug that affects iOS. I find it astonishing that Apple done know about them and equally that people find them.

Keyword - OBSCURE.

Stuff happens. Apple will fix it quickly.
 

Curun

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2013
314
1
Don't you folks at MacRumors realize that by posting a thread like this, you tip off thieves to a way of successfully thwarting Apple's find-my-iphone security. Maybe this should not be posted?!?!?!?
Except phone would still be useless...

Location can also be thwarted:
by powering down.
Removing SIM and not having near original owners wifi.
Etc
 

Jsameds

Suspended
Apr 22, 2008
3,525
7,986
It might be better to not post this rather than telling the internet exactly how to hack a stolen iPhone..
 

2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
This is there to remind people to set up a passcode to unlock the iPhone to begin with. remember, the can't exploit this if the can't get past the lock screen.
 

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,161
3,210
Don't you folks at MacRumors realize that by posting a thread like this, you tip off thieves to a way of successfully thwarting Apple's find-my-iphone security. Maybe this should not be posted?!?!?!?

I'd rather want to know about these issues to be aware of security risks, especially when there is an effective solution to this bug:
The bypass only works on a device that does not have Touch ID or a Passcode enabled, as the exploit requires access to the Settings menu.
 

the8thark

macrumors 601
Apr 18, 2011
4,261
1,305
MacRumors has contacted Apple for comment on the exploit and we will update if we receive new information.

You really think Apple will talk about product exploits to a random rumour website? That's funny.
At most you'll get official statements on the issue when there is progress on it.
 

dustinsc

macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2009
230
52
This is why you use a pass code folks. This is also why Touch ID is awesome, since it addresses convenience, one of the main reasons people don't use pass codes.
 

michaelward82

macrumors newbie
Feb 6, 2014
1
0
I watched the video without sound - was it necessary to be logged in to the iCloud web interface, or was that just a demonstration of the sound alert working?
 

gatearray

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2010
1,130
232
I don't keep a password on my iPhone but this could never happen to me. :)

Settings, General, Restrictions, Accounts, DO NOT ALLOW CHANGES

This means iCloud along with all my email accounts, etc. are "greyed out" in Settings and cannot be modified without enabling changes in Restrictions which requires my passcode.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,685
9,277
Ventura County
How does someone find something like this? Who would attempt this for no reason just to see what happens?

I'm always amazed when these bugs are found, like the lock screen on and so on.
 

velcrovan

macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2011
19
83
Minneapolis, MN
Wake up

"Don't you folks at MacRumors realize that by posting a thread like this, you tip off thieves blah blah"​

Teachable moment: the way to ensure that security flaws get fixed asap, as they should be, is to release information about them publicly.

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but the fact is that trying to keeping exploits hush-hush until they can be fixed doesn't work. Those who could fix the problem take longer to get around to it, thieves always find out anyway, and the only people in the dark about the situation are legitimate device owners.

Now all of us know about the problem and several ways it can be prevented or mitigated. To withhold that information would have been blind and stupid.
 
Last edited:

dallastigers

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2003
70
13
TX
I don't keep a password on my iPhone but this could never happen to me. :)

Settings, General, Restrictions, Accounts, DO NOT ALLOW CHANGES

This means iCloud along with all my email accounts, etc. are "greyed out" in Settings and cannot be modified without enabling changes in Restrictions which requires my passcode.


I was wondering if this could also be a possible fix.
 

H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
4,704
5,774
Keyword - OBSCURE.

Stuff happens. Apple will fix it quickly.

Apple haven't really had a great record of fixing things quickly. Also I'm sure they could devise some software that could run through combinations of keystrokes etc to find things like this.
They should do better!
 
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