San Francisco District Attorney Impressed by iOS 7's Activation Lock Feature

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    After news that government officials would be testing the efficiency of iOS 7's Activation Lock against thieves, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón has come out in support of the feature, saying that "clear improvements" have been made to stop criminals, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

    Last week, Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman brought in security experts from the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center to test out Apple's Activation Lock feature as well as Absolute Software's Lojack service on the Samsung Galaxy S4 in order to determine how effective they are against thieves.
    Both attorneys called for the tests as a part of the Secure Our Smartphone (S.O.S) program that aims to stop the theft and black market resale of stolen mobile devices. While carriers have already established a database to track stolen phones, it has proven to be largely futile. Prior to these tests, Gascón and Schneiderman called for smartphones to have a kill switch that would disable them in the event of theft.

    Announced at WWDC, Activation Lock is set to be included in iOS 7, which is expected to be released to consumers this fall.

    Article Link: San Francisco District Attorney Impressed by iOS 7's Activation Lock Feature
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It's good to see companies taking phone theft seriously. It's becoming a major issue.
  3. macus3r macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2005
    Yea as if Mr gubmint here isn't gettin a free iPhone 5S after making such positive comments.

    Let's see how it really performs once it hits the streets and subways of NYC
  4. NachoGrande macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2010
    Yeah the phone companies should be responsible for fixing this. That way we don't have to prosecute the criminals as usual. :rolleyes:
  5. Bilbo63 macrumors 6502

    Apr 27, 2010
    Seriously? Your accusation is based on what proof exactly?
  6. Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2013
    I'm not a fan of big government, but this looks more like the way things should work. That is, DAs note that there is a rash of a particular kind of crime and put out a call to request that businesses making those products come up with their own ideas to address the problem.

    Much better than the traditional government approach of mandating a particular solution that a) stifles innovative concepts that someone else might come with, and b) probably doesn't work.
  7. j4m13 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2013
    The main thing to watch out for on the iOS 7 lock that i think quite a few people will get caught out on initially is resale of the device.
    I buy spares or repairs iPhones, iPads etc to repair them up, if i were to buy one that shows the Welcome to iPhone screen but doesnt have a Wifi Connection or a Sim inside you would never know it was stolen untill you try to activate it.

    Now one thing i have noticed as a heads up to any buyers, if you Restore an Iphone from iOS7 to iOS6 the activation lock still comes on, if a phone was stolen on iOS7 and had been restored to iOS6 it will still NOT activate!

    i certainly DO NOT buy stolen phones, but i like to educate myself and others on how not to be ripped of!

  8. Dwalls90 macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    I'm amazed at how Apple can do this.

    It seems to override even DFU mode? So this must be very low level bootrom stuff here ...
  9. anomie Suspended

    Jun 29, 2010
    What's wrong with you? You cannot prosecute thousands of stolen phones.
    Go outside and learn something about the real life..
  10. dannyyankou macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    DFU mode still works and you can still restore it, but you need to enter your Apple ID and password in iTunes to unlock it.
  11. Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    it's a good concept, just hope apple can execute well.

    so many what if in this concept, like what if 1 device have 2 apple id's, what if the activation server is down, what if I want to sell the iphone to other person can I change the apple id easily (i'm guessing it is embed with firmware this feature), thats just some things on top of my head.
  12. j4m13 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2013
    You can still Restore the iPhone in DFU mode if you have activated Find my iPhone. It is only apparent when you go to activate the device, then it asks for your iCloud details to reactivate the device.
  13. Geckotek macrumors G3


    Jul 22, 2008
    Wow, really? "gubmint"? Free iPhone?

    Some people just think everything is a conspiracy.

    Let's see, we can pay millions in tax dollars chasing down criminals or we can put in preventative measures that make the items less appealing to thieves.....:rolleyes:
  14. ericinboston, Jul 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013

    ericinboston macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    I don't see how phone theft/loss is any kind of issue that warrants District Attorneys, governments, and phone manufacturers to somehow deter it.

    1)Don't lose your phone
    2)Smartphones are all software...regardless of how one "secures it", a true thief will know this and either he/she or the "black market" will easily unlock it. Period.
    3)Laptops have been lost/stolen for decades and you don't see Apple/Wintel working to prevent that. What about iPods, cd-walkmans, watches, handbags, etc? Again, don't lose your stuff and/or leave it around where it has a fair chance of being stolen.
    4)If your phone gets lost or stolen, big call your Carrier, they assure you won't be billed to data/calls it makes, you plunk down $$$ for another phone, and you move on. Sure, you may have lost your pictures or possibly opened up your email to a thief...but a)go change your password(s) on your email system super ASAP and b)life's you lost some pictures.
    5)How about this scenario: You buy a used phone on eBay or from a friend and days later the seller reports the phone stolen just to be a jerk.
    6)I understand that smartphones are relatively small so they fit in pockets...and could be misplaced or pick-pocketed or even just fall out due to their size...but so are wallets, jewelry, and cash. Again, don't lose the phone just like you try hard not to lose your wallet, jewelry, and cash.

    This topic has been talked about for over a year and it always is made to sound like a band of criminals is following you down the street waiting to knock you unconscious and steal your phone. Not in the USA...and not in most civilized countries.
  15. andreiru macrumors 6502


    Apr 18, 2008
    Kurgan, RF
    Fantabulous, albeit undoubtedly there will be ways around this.

    Very welcome, nonetheless.
  16. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2012
    I'm more familiar with government mandating a performance standard (eg FMVSS, mpg rules, etc. ), with industry and public input, and the leaving it up to industry to develop solutions to meet that standard.

    Those cases where a specific solution is required would seem to be far fewer than a performance requirement approach.
  17. KandyKane macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2009
    I wonder if there will be a way around this. I work for a telco and you'd be surprised at the amount of stupid people out there who'd somehow lock themselves out and demand that they never had an AppleID...
  18. TylerL macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2002
    As I understand it, every iOS device needs to be activated over the internet before use, either over cellular, WiFi, or connected to a laptop (with an internet connection) through iTunes.
    Activation Lock simply adds an extra step of logging in using the Apple ID of the person who last turned on Find My iPhone for the device. No password, no activation.

    The only way around this would be an old-school low-level jailbreak with hacktivation.
  19. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2012
    So many errors of thought in the above it deserves a rebuttal, but I don't have the time.
  20. j4m13 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Really! Read this Article!

    300 Phones a day snatched from people while using the phone!
    Thats only in the UK alone!

    Please get your facts straight before shouting off about how useless this is!

    If it stops a few people from getting stabbed, shot or killed, then this is certainly a worth while addition!
  21. moobatticus macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2012
    Oh, can you imagine the scandal when a workaround is achieved within minutes of iOS 7 being available? Wait for it... Lock Gate!!! ;)
  22. juanmanas macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2010
    I don't know but i question somebody's repute. Classic.
  23. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    Smart phones are NOT just software - they are software and hardware combined. The iPhone has several permanent, unique serial numbers. The MAC address in the Wifi chip,the IMEI number in the main processing chip, and the Serial Number of the SIM (which can be removed).
  24. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009

    phone theft is run by organized crime. cheaper and faster to get apple and samsung to design phones that make it harder to be used while stolen than to spend years investigating these rings

    just like car thefts in the 80's. the auto makers made it harder to steal cars, and thefts dropped

    some wintel laptops have a hardware based anti-theft system
  25. juanmanas macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2010
    I could refute pretty much your whole statement. But im too busy.

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