Apple iPhone’s New Security Mode Will Protect Against Stolen Passcodes

Apple is planning to release an amazing security feature for iPhones that will protect customers when their private passcodes are at risk of being disclosed to thieves or attackers. This innovative feature, dubbed “Stolen Device Protection,” adds an extra layer of security, making it more difficult for criminals to exploit the passcode when the user’s phone is not in their typical location, such as home or work.

Stolen Device Protection needs Apple’s FaceID facial recognition in conjunction with a passcode when engaged in unfamiliar locations for users to perform critical operations such as accessing saved passwords or erasing the phone. Thieves who attempt to make such modifications or gain access to these settings with just one passcode will be denied.

Furthermore, any criminal attacker will face a one-hour delay and will need to perform another FaceID check to change the user’s Apple ID password or disable FaceID.

This invention is in response to a Wall Street Journal-identified scam in which attackers befriend or surveil their victims, often at at night venues such as bars, in order to lure them into sharing their passcodes. The stolen passcode is then used to disable theft measures such as Apple’s Activation Lock or Lost Mode, increasing the value of a stolen iPhone.

Previously, Apple’s privacy and stolen device safeguards, including the FaceID tool, were inseparably connected to the initial passcode, potentially providing complete control to anyone in control of a stolen device and passcode.

For those who have the newest developer beta of iOS, iOS 17.3, Stolen Device Mode can be enabled under Face ID and Passcode > Stolen Device Protection.

When iOS 17.3 is released to the public, the opt-in feature will be available to all iPhone owners.

“As threats to user devices continue to evolve, we work tirelessly to develop powerful new protections for our users and their data,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. “iPhone data encryption has long led the industry, and a thief can’t access data on a stolen iPhone without knowing the user’s passcode. In the rare cases where a thief can observe the user entering the passcode and then steal the device, Stolen Device Protection adds a sophisticated new layer of protection.”

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