Screen time only secured with 4-digit PIN

bydandie

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 22, 2009
130
21
Am I the only person who thinks that having a 4-digit PIN to protect screentime for kids is a bit nuts in this day and age?

I’d love it to be integrated into Ask to Buy, but even giving the ability to set an alphanumeric passcode would be an improvement.

As a parent, this is a really important feature but no one appears to care that much?
 

Xgm541

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
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I'm not sure I understand. Are you concerned that your kid will crack your 4 pin code? I doubt that they will, but even if they do, you can see that they're going over their limits and quickly put a stop to it.
 
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bydandie

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 22, 2009
130
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Apple stopped using 4-digit PINs some years ago because they were insecure. I am quite knowledgeable about security, but am merely trying to work out if anyone really cares?
 

Xgm541

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
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Submit a suggestion using the feedback app. Personally I don't think it's that big a deal even though apple moved away from 4 digit codes. This doesn't compromise device security. I do think they can definitely give us more options.
 

I7guy

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Nov 30, 2013
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Gotta be in it to win it
Apple stopped using 4-digit PINs some years ago because they were insecure. I am quite knowledgeable about security, but am merely trying to work out if anyone really cares?
I actually tried this on iOS 12. After 6 failed attempts you get a minute timeout. 7 failed attempts a 5 minute timeout. So no I don’t care.
 
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SoN1NjA

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Feb 3, 2016
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Apple stopped using 4-digit PINs some years ago because they were insecure. I am quite knowledgeable about security, but am merely trying to work out if anyone really cares?
Oh my Jesus, they stopped using a 4-digit PIN to prolong a brute force attack on the entire phone unlock

Unless your kid has the tools to input codes it’s an Apple and orange (and if that’s actually a concern there’s much bigger problems in your world)

One is a problem between unlocking your phone to get your health, bank, text messages — the other is access to their YouTube app

Really???
 
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Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
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Atlanta
Apple stopped using 4-digit PINs some years ago because they were insecure. I am quite knowledgeable about security, but am merely trying to work out if anyone really cares?
That was to protect against professional hackers with sophisticated equipment and technics. A 4 digit PIN is 10,000 combinations. Even to get to a measly 25% chance of cracking it will take 2,500 attempts and at 10 seconds each (not even counting the time out Apple enforces) is 7 straight hours of trying. So to try all 10,000 codes would take up to 28 straight hours. With Apple' time out it would probably take closer to a year to crack a PIN with contentious trying. That would be some persistence your kids have. Also a PIN is still used for your CC, most alarm codes, your ATM card, etc.

Don't believe it is all but impossible. Get someone to enter a random PIN and then YOU try and crack it.
 
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Capeto

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2015
120
295
I’m with bydandie on this. I really wish Apple would increase the code length for Screen Time and Restrictions to at least 6 digits. I can’t imagine that taking more than one line of code, and could be offered as a toggle like it is for the Lock Screen code.
 

az431

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Sep 13, 2008
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Portland, OR
Apple stopped using 4-digit PINs some years ago because they were insecure. I am quite knowledgeable about security, but am merely trying to work out if anyone really cares?
Generally a security measure is only as strong as it needs to be for what is being protected. Apple probably reasoned (correctly) that the inconvenience of entering a 6-digit pin did outweighed the risk of children cracking 4-digit pins, and that even if the pin were cracked, it is not protecting super sensitive data such as bank account information.
 
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BugeyeSTI

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Aug 19, 2017
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I don’t care, 4 digit code seems more than adequate for the what it’s securing. My ATM PIN is 4 digits and that’s way more important to me.. I wish banks would allow longer PIN numbers, screen time is not even on my list
 

MEJHarrison

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
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I've not played much with Screen Time just yet, so I don't know all the in's and out's of how it works. It's entirely possible that what I'm about to say is all wrong. But it seems to me that if your children are attempting to hack your PIN, you ought to see a spike in the amount time they're spending in the Settings app. You might even be able to restrict them from the Settings app altogether (assuming they don't have an actual need).
 

Dwalls90

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Feb 5, 2009
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Because it's not the same passcode as the phone, maybe they are doing themselves a favor of having it being shorter to prevent folks forgetting it and locking themselves out. Isn't the restrictions passcode also only 4 digits?
 
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TheSkywalker77

Contributor
Sep 9, 2017
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I’m sure these will have a limit amount of tries before it locks you out, similar to how the passcode lock is. So unless your kid knows every passcode you’ve used, I wouldn’t worry too much about them cracking it.
 
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Peter K.

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Nov 6, 2012
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Because it's not the same passcode as the phone, maybe they are doing themselves a favor of having it being shorter to prevent folks forgetting it and locking themselves out. Isn't the restrictions passcode also only 4 digits?
Actually, this PIN-protected section of Screen Time in iOS 12 IS the Restrictions section from pre-iOS 12 versions. It contains (at least) all of the options from Restrictions. Screen Time is just their new home. They moved on up...

Also, I agree with you about the benefit of not using the same PIN for unlocking the phone and for securing Screen Time.
 
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Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,478
3,464
I wish banks would allow longer PIN numbers
In Australia, some banks allow me to set up a 12-digit pin that can be used at ATM and they supports the pin being that long. I have such a pin for my bank card. It is phenomenal.
 

Mac Parent

macrumors newbie
Nov 6, 2019
1
0
My 12-year old cracked it by resetting the clock, which clears the timeout restrictions, so you can keep trying for long stretches without the timeout function stopping you. I already found that changing the clock allows you to get around the screen time lockouts in the first place. Pretty stupid that you can set a time window for non-use that can't be changed but can be gotten around by changing the clock time.
At any rate, I care and looked for a stream like this because I do think it's stupid as well that you can only have a 4-digit passcode, especially considering that all content restrictions are only protected by this passcode, which in turn a reasonably intelligent tween with an hour or two on their hands can crack because of clock manipulation to get around all the ways that supposedly you get delayed. Note that mine has no special computer knowledge whatsoever, and no cracking tools.
He lost some privileges for a while as a result, but annoying to need third party software if I want a solutiion that doesn't require constant checking on my part.
Rant over.