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Monday, December 06, 2021

Lost your iPhone? Here’s why your Apple ID could also be at risk

Here's why your Apple ID is at risk too if you lose an iPhone and why you need to protect yourself against phishing attacks as well.

By: Tech Desk | Mumbai |
November 11, 2021 3:02:25 pm
Apple, Apple patent, Apple privacy features, iPhone privacy feature, Apple glasses, Apple special glasses, Apple newsIf Apple does end up releasing the new privacy feature, it would allow iPhone users to hide the content of their screens from other people in their vicinity. (Express Photo)

Stealing an Apple iPhones is a lot of hard work, and not because it’s difficult to snatch an iPhone out of your hand. But Apple’s ‘Find My’ network makes it nearly impossible for a stolen device to be used by someone else. That’s because the iPhone or any other Apple device is linked to a user’s Apple ID and without access to this, the device is practically unusable for a thief.

With an iPhone, there is a much more complicated process than stealing an Android device, simply replacing the SIM card and resetting the phone. However, many thieves have now found a cunning workaround to this barrier. Snatchers may steal an iPhone, then use the SIM card to get your number, and then try to scam you to extract your personal details, including your Apple ID and password.

Twitter user Vedant (@vedantkhanduja) faced a similar attack when his iPhone was stolen in Delhi, India. The snatchers used the victim’s panic to get the better of him with a phishing attack days after the incident.

The phishing attack included a message saying “Your lost iPhone 12 Blue has been found and temporarily switched ON” followed by a fake “View location” link.

The user rushed to view the location and was prompted into entering his Apple ID and password. As the user waited for a subsequent step, he got an email notification suggesting his Apple ID was accessed via a Windows desktop.

By the time the victim realised what had happened and changed his Apple ID credentials, the thieves had managed to switch off the ‘Find My’ service for his stolen iPhone and had already unlinked it from his Apple ID.

Why iPhone thieves are likely to target you with a phishing attack 

The ‘Find My iPhone’ feature is usually turned on by default on most iPhones and is linked to one’s Apple ID and password. What this does is that if your device is stolen or lost, it ensures that no one else can access the device, unless they have your Apple ID details.

In fact, even when you are trading an older iPhone for a new device, Apple will tell you to turn off ‘Find My’ because otherwise, the new owner cannot access the device. But if someone does get access to your Apple ID, they can log into it via a web browser and disable the ’Find My’ service for a stolen iPhone.This way the stolen iPhone is unlinked from your Apple ID permanently. Once this is done, your stolen device is completely unlocked and as good as new to the thief.

However, to get your Apple ID credentials, they will carry out a phishing attack, where they will pretend to be from Apple and attempt to extract these details.

Hence, if your iPhone has been stolen recently, stay aware of all calls, text messages, and emails that come your way, especially those that prompt you to “log into” your Apple ID. Sometimes users will keep getting these messages and emails because the thieves are desperate to crack into the device, but our advice is to ignore them or report these messages as spam.

Refrain from entering your Apple ID credentials anywhere except the official site and don’t blindly trust links in messages and emails. Instead, ignore the phishing attempts and inform the police of the same as well, especially if it comes from a regular mobile number.

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