iPhone stolen - can I trust remote wipe?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by braaains, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. braaains macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2011
    #1
    So.... my iPhone (ios 6.1.2) was stolen yesterday. My first instinct was to check the location with find my iphone on my wifes phone.

    I spent the next 30 minutes watching it getting further and further away (by car) before I decided to issue the remote wipe before anyone got a chance to turn it off or pull the sim.

    I received an email saying "The erase of iPhone started at 9:24 AM on April 7, 2013. All media, data, and settings will be permanently erased."

    Firstly, can I take this as 100% proof that the erase actually happened, or is that email spawned from me selecting the erase option rather than the phone sending a signal that it has started?

    My phone was pin locked, so I assume access is pretty difficult. My only concern is that it was jailbroken (ssh was installed but disabled), so I don't know if things like afc2add allow usb access without the pin? Or does the pin add an encryption layer to USB connections?

    I then got the IMEI barred, and spent the evening revoking access tokens and changing passwords for everything on there.

    Am I right in assuming that an IMEI block after a remote wipe means the phone will boot to the ios6 setup screen and refuse to activate with any sim? And, can I fully trust that the remote wipe happened? It's been showing as 'erased' in find my iphone since I issued the wipe (again, is that a generic thing that happens when you choose to wipe it, or does it confirm that it's wiped).

    Thanks for any advice, I'm just overly paranoid :)
     
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #2
    Yes, its a confirmation that the command has been issued and received by the particular iphone.
    The thief will just see the connect to iTunes logo now on the screen and all your data is gone.
     
  3. braaains thread starter macrumors newbie

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  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #4
    Apple should install a video record in addition to erase so owner can zero in the bastards even though we can't find them right away.
     
  5. dextr3k macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    #5
    Yeah I think you can trust that the iphone received wipe order. Even if it didn't completely finish the wipe, i think the filestructure would be messed up enough that they need to wipe it to use it.

    The concept that find my iphone isnt meant as a security measure for finding your phone is a bit of a downer. I would actually like a way to both track and wipe my phone at the same time, just in case they turn it off before i can find them, then I can be sure it was wiped already. :(
     
  6. DayOfChaos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #6
    Oh yeah, its gone. If it can't even make a connection after the wiped finished, you got nothing to worry about. You can't track it now, but all your data is gone.

    Sorry for your loss, how did it happen? Just curious if you don't mind sharing.
     
  7. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Location:
    Southern California
    #7
    I was in a very busy Starbucks, sat my phone down on the table right next to my cup, a guy reached over my shoulder from behind, grabbed it and ran. Since I didn't see him approach me I had no chance to react.

    Didn't even bother with find my phone, whipped out my MBPr, wiped the phone, called the carrier reported it stolen and that was that ... ten minutes tops.

    Ironically the guy ran out of the store, got about one block away and the police officer writing a motorist a ticket saw this guy, and apprehended him.

    Leaving Starbucks I saw the lights on the police vehicle, stopped to tell him what happened only to have him hand me my phone :)

    The wipe worked perfectly by the way.
     
  8. Steve121178 macrumors 68040

    Steve121178

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  9. AFDoc macrumors 68030

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    #9
    OR maybe not put your phone in the position to be stolen. Practice by prevention.
     
  10. ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

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    San Antonio, TX
    #10
    Sounds kind of like the old "she shouldn't dress that way if she doesn't want to get raped" blame the victim BS. While taking some precautions are wise and healthy, living in constant paranoid fear that you can't put your phone down at your own table for two minutes or it might get swiped is not the way I want to operate.

    **** happens sometimes, but putting the onus for that on the guy who set his phone down next to his coffee is pretty lame.
     
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #11
    I'm not saying blame the victim but people need to be wise and keep their belongings safely when in public places. Keep your phone in your hand or your pocket.
    You wouldn't leave $500-600 just sitting like that on a table right?
     
  12. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    Jul 24, 2008
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    Pacific Northwest, US
    #12
    Only the older phones wipe. The newer ones 3G (IIRC) and newer simply destroy the key that unencrypts the data so it happens in a wink.

    Nah, don't worry about responses like that. Lots of folks don't have anything to contribute but do enjoy the clicking their keyboards make. I'm envisioning one of those chains that people used to attach to their belt and billfold that hung down to the knee. :cool:
     
  13. JAT macrumors 603

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    Mpls, MN
    #13
    See, extremes don't mean much. It should be: don't leave your damn $700 handheld item where it can be stolen as easily as people walk. Putting it in a pocket instead is a pretty simple precaution.

    Paranoia? Get a dictionary.
     
  14. braaains thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2011
    #14
    I was at a swimming pool with my daughter, the phone was locked in a locker which was broken open :(
     
  15. ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

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    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    #15
    I put my phone down on tables in coffee places, restaurants, and other places all the time and have never had an issue. I don't put it on the table then get up and walk away, but if I'm sitting there drinking a cup of coffee yeah, I do that all the time. Sometimes on the weekends when I need to get some school done and I need to get away from the wife and kid I go to a Starbucks in-town and use my MacBook and i-Devices to get it done and I have never had a problem. I've even seen dudes get up and leave their stuff at their table while they order and no one has ever even glanced at their stuff.

    Maybe it's different in Texas since we're all packing heat and stealing my stuff could get you shot I don't know, but this idea that someone could walk up to a table I'm sitting at and grab my phone while I'm sitting there has never even crossed my mind.

    ----------

    That really sucks dude; I hope you get some kind of satisfaction in the long run. Getting your locker broken into isn't something that most of us would foresee, I don't think.
     
  16. AFDoc, Apr 10, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013

    AFDoc macrumors 68030

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    #16
    Sorry but you comparing being irresponsible with a cell phone to someone being attacked and raped through no fault of their own is borderline offensive. One is NOTHING like the other. Those that don't live in fear of people stealing their items when they lay them down and don't pay attention absolutely deserve to have those items stolen. See below as to why I feel this way.


    My exact point when ever I get ZP's type of argument. IF you wouldn't lay $500 in cash on the table next to your coffee why would you do it with a $500 phone?


    So yeah, unless a person is held up at gunpoint and mugged I AM blaming them for having their phone stolen. Like was already said, if you wouldn't do it with $500 in cash, don't do it with your $500 phone.
     
  17. ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

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    #17
    If that $500 in cash could send/receive messages, download my RSS feeds, and came with a web browser yeah, I would probably leave it on the table while I was drinking some coffee so I could pick up my messages and what-not while I was sitting there. Like I said, I do this all the time and it's never been a problem for me ever.
     
  18. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

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    USA
    #18
    You can't always stop a thief, but you can slow them down. Unfortunately, it sounds like there wasn't much else the OP could have done. If they had to break into a locker to get it, they were pretty bent on stealing an iPhone that day.

    FWIW, an inexpensive backup phone might be worth considering. If your primary phone is on a GSM carrier, then just buy a cheap compatible phone and swap sims before you leave. In my case, I activated my old Motorola Droid with PagePlus Cellular on their $12/mo plan. I take it with me when I go fishing. If it falls overboard or gets drenched with saltwater, oh well. I don't keep anything important on it. If it is ever stolen, which I highly doubt, PagePlus can place my account on hold.
     
  19. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #19
    Actually, the data on your iPhone is always encrypted, and the key needed to decrypt the data is stored in a single location (it is encrypted with your password or passcode so that nobody can ever make a copy of it). All that the iPhone needs to do is to erase the location where this encrypted key is stored, nothing else, and the whole contents of your iPhone is forever unreadable. The data is still there, but there is no way to access the decryption key.

    I suppose Apple would then erase the rest of the data, even though it is encrypted, just in case.

    ----------

    Your iPhone would be backed up either in the cloud or on your computer through iTunes. If you buy an identical iPhone, you should be able to get it back exactly as it was.
     
  20. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Backup phone as in secondary phone. Not backup phone to backup stored data.
     
  21. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Colorado
    #21
    Oh man, that totally sucks. Sometimes you do everything right and still end up getting screwed.:(
     
  22. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Washington DC
    #22
    It's like neither of you have heard about pickpockets. There's a specific word for them and it describes what they do fairly literally.
     
  23. Ste Nova macrumors 6502

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    #23
    i don't let anyone get that close to me
     
  24. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #24
    That's good and I hope it never happens to anyone either.
    Just gotta be aware of your surroundings I guess.
    If there's a lot of people around someone can bump you for a second as a distraction and another grabs your phone and walks out. You'll have no idea what happened.
    Leaving it out there for everyone to see might give some people an incentive for making easy money.

    I'd really like to see someone try to stick their hand inside my pockets:D
    Not talking about a wallet stuck in your back pocket either. When it rings sometimes its hard for me to get it out of my jean pockets never mind someone trying to grab it without me noticing.
     
  25. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #25
    I thought the remote wipe doesn't work if the device is running iOS 5 or newer and is jailbroken. The device will restart to an Apple logo. But if both buttons are pressed so that it restarts, it'll restart as normal.
     

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