Here’s How Thieves Are Stealing iPhone Users’ Digital Life And What Apple Has To Say About It

A new report highlights how easily someone can steal an iPhone and then lock people out of their entire Apple online lives. They can also potentially access all of their banking data and steal their money, too.

The new report by The Wallstreet Journal looks at how hundreds of people across the United States and abroad have had people watch them enter their iPhone’s passcode and then steal the device.

Once stolen, they use the passcode to gain entry, change the account’s Apple ID password, and disable Find My iPhone. From here, the game’s up.

With a new Apple ID password there is no way for the iPhone’s original owner to get access to their iCloud data, and if the thief has also changed other security settings they could be locked out for life. In that case, all iCloud data, including photos and videos, is gone for good.

The report also highlights how thieves gain access to iCloud Keychain, including passwords for other services including banks, and then use that information to steal money. Some banking apps that have been configured to allow Face ID or Touch ID authentication can also be fooled into asking for the iPhone’s passcode instead — something the thief already knows.

Apple could of course prevent much of this by requiring the existing Apple ID password be provided before allowing it to be changed — right now, all that’s needed is the device’s passcode. Using Face ID or Touch ID to access your iPhone will also prevent a thief from knowing a passcode, too.

Thankfully most of the people reported on were able to get their money back via fraud protections. But that unfortunately doesn’t mean they get access to their iCloud data as well.

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