Thieves bypass Apple security measures to steal from iPhone users in minutes
Criminals have found ways to defeat the security measures of Apple’s iPhones, allowing them access to apps, banking information, private notes and Apple Pay.
This has been made possible due to thieves recording videos of users typing in their iPhone passcodes for example, and then using that information to bypass biometric authentication methods such as Face ID and Touch ID.
The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern reported on this issue, saying that recently, numerous reports of people having their phones stolen and then being locked out of their Apple ID and accounts on multiple financial apps, such as Venmo. For example, one woman noticed that her phone was stolen. Within minutes, the thieves opened an Apple credit card using her social security number, which they found in photos stored on the phone.
One victim describes being locked out of their own Apple ID within three minutes, and losing thousands of dollars within 24 hours.
Moreover, in some countries — such as Brazil — armed thieves even ask for the victim’s iPhone password before stealing it, 9to5Mac reports. Apple has made it relatively simple to reset an Apple ID password using just the PIN code from a locked device, allowing the thief to change the account password on a stolen phone quickly.
If a recovery key is enabled, Apple does not permit users to regain access to their account without providing the necessary code.
The victim also described losing treasured photographs with no way to replace them.
Critics of this system suggest Apple needs to take more measures to make it harder for criminals to hack into phones and access sensitive data. Samsung, for example, allows users to create a folder with specific apps that can only be accessed while connected to their home Wi-Fi network. They can also disguise banking apps with different names and icons, which can buy them extra time to contact their bank and ask them to lock the account.
In response to this report, a spokesperson from Apple said, “security researchers agree that the iPhone is the most secure consumer mobile device, and we work tirelessly every day to protect all our users from new and emerging threats.”
“We sympathize with users who have had this experience and we take all attacks on our users very seriously, no matter how rare,” the spokesperson added. “We will continue to advance the protections to help keep user accounts secure.”
Apple did not give additional details about any steps it might take to increase the security of these phones.