Backstory, my iPhone 4S was stolen last night. I could see it being driven away on Find my iPhone and it then remained at a certain location for several hours before disappearing off the map completely (icloud shows the same location but says it last located it hours ago).
So here's my question. Best case scenario, the thieves still have it and the battery has run out. From what I gather, as long as wi-fi is enabled and the phone is in range of sme networks, even if they remove the SIM I should still be able to see it on iCloud if it's powered on.
My question is, is it possible for them to wipe it or mess with the settings (for example to disable iCloud) without knowing my lock screen passcode? Or is there a way they could connect it to a computer and f*** with it even without being able to get past the lock screen on the phone itself?
I'm thinking that as long as this can't be done, I have a chance of maybe getting it back. Otherwise they've probably already turned off the feature, as these are fairly seasoned criminals (multiple iPhones have been stolen in the same location, seems to be a hobby of them to prey on users in this particular spot).
I stupidly didn't have insurance or anything so I'm out a serious amount of money to replace it if I don't find it. Didn't get the SIM card or imei blocked yet since it they haven't made any calls or texts (possibly not being able to figure out my pass) and I wasn't sure if find my iphone would still work after getting the sim disabled - and as far as I know, an IMEI block can't be reversed once it's blacklisted so I want to wait until I'm 100% sure I'm never going to see it again before I do anything so drastic.
So what's the situation? Can they bypass the lock screen by hacking the phone from a computer?