8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 27, 2012 4:20 AM by cesare1966
aletz272 Level 1 (0 points)

I was mugged last night and the thief took my iPhone 4S. I proceeded as follows:


- Got in Find My iPhone on icloud, tried to locate it but couldn't. The thief must have turnt it off the minute he got it (it took me less than 10 minutes since the theft to logging in on icloud).

- Sent a "Remote block" followed by a "Remote wipe" right after.

- Called my carrier, locked the SIM and the phone using IMEI.

- Reported it to the police.

- Changed all my passwords.

The phone itself had a 4-digit password.


Now I'm left wondering what the thief can do/see with it. It looked to me as a common thug that just saw a chance at a fancy phone, but I'm still worried at what he might find out going through my contacts/mails/photos...

iPhone 4S, iOS 5.1
  • aletz272 Level 1 (0 points)

    Also, I was wondering if having sent the remote wipe order before having it SIM-locked and IMEI blocked will work in the event he connects to a WiFi network...

  • Michael Black Level 7 (20,382 points)

    Was it locked with the passcode when they took it?  If so, they are effectively locked out (no known exploit to get around the passcode lock).  They can restore it in iTunes as new, but that removes all of your information, content and apps and sets it back to a new-device state.  Since your carrier offers IMEI locking, they cannot activate it on that network, but unless your country and/or all the carriers in it offer a coordinated IMEI blocking service, they may be able to activate it on another carriers network, although they may have to hack it if it is carrier locked (or still sell it in another country, where your IMEI block has no effect).


    Regardless, the passcode lock will have kept your information safe, as long as the screen was locked when they took it.


    If the screen was not locked when the snatched it then they had a few minutes at least (you said 10 or so) to puruse your information, but you've covered yourself there anyway by chaning passwords and such already.  If the device connects to the network long enough for it and the iCloud servers to establish communication, then your remote wipe would go through.  Unless, of course, in those first ten minutes they were able to go in and simply delete your iCloud account - no iCloud account, no iCloud settings, thus no find-my-iPhone enabled (did you have restrictions enabled, and did you disable allowing changes to accounts by chance?).


    You sound like you have done your best to cover your back and protect your informatin.  Odds are they will already have restored the device as new, and either set it up on another network, or sold it off.

  • aletz272 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, it was locked when they took it. I did not have the "wipe after 10 attempts" option enabled though, and that's what worries me. Should he turn it on while not connected to a network, he could try endleslly to crack it and see my info, right?


    As to the remote wipe, will it work even though I changed the apple id password and it's sim-locked and IMEI-locked? Or should I keep the same password as on the stolen phone?


    Other than the thief trying that, I'm covered, right? If he tries to set it up as new, he'll effectively erase everything...

  • Michael Black Level 7 (20,382 points)

    Even without the "wipe after" he/she would get locked out for progressively longer times (after 6 tries for 1 minute, then 5 minutes then 15, then 60) and finally after ten failed attempts they would have to connect to iTunes and restore from a backup without the code (which they will not have) or restore as new.  They cannot try endlessly - it does not allow that (and with 10,000 possible 4 digit codes, they would need to be pretty lucky to get it right in ten unless they knew you very well and you used something like a birthdate).




    Changing your passcode will not affect anything that way - the wipe and tracking is linked via your AppleID and the iCloud account you created with it.  Since that ID has not changed and is still the one associated with the iCloud account on the iPhone, it will still be able to find it and wipe it.


    If the thief restores as new, yes, all you data/info/content is wiped from the device - they can use it then as if it were a new device, but your data is gone from the device.


    I think you have covered yourself well, and your personal info should not be compromised.

  • aletz272 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks a lot for the explanation Michael I feel a lot more secure now...

  • splish Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi I'm really confused.


    I've just had 10 clear assurances from O2 that with an IMEI block in place the iPhone is a dead brick and cannot be turned on even.


    But your post seems to imply that this is incorrect.


    It talks of the thief able to do things with the iPhone. It was not locked and your post seems to imply that therefore he could get at my information.


    But O2 categorically say that the IMEI block turns the phone into a brick with absolutely no functionality whatsoever.


    Most posts I have found seem to support your position - that an IMEI block stops calls being made but that it still functions without connectivity


    Can you clear this up?



  • Michael Black Level 7 (20,382 points)

    An IMEI block will stop a phone from connecting to the network that has the block in their database system.  It does not disable the phone itself, nor does it keep it from connecting to other networks that do not have the block provisioned on their network.


    So no, an iPhone, even one somewhere that offers IMEI blocking, is not kept from powering on and being used - and if it did not have a passcode lock on it then everything on it is accessible to whomever has it.


    If O2 offers IMEI blocking, that would stop the iPhone from connecting to the O2 network.  If there is agreements in place with other carriers to share blocked IMEI data, then it may also keep it from connecting to other networks.  That's all it does though - is block network connections, nothing more, and then only the networks which have that IMEI specifically provisioned to be blocked.

  • cesare1966 Level 1 (0 points)

    unfortunately the thieves can use several software to unlock/change the imei of a stolen iphone, like redsnow or ziphone......:-((

    My daughter's iphone was stolen 1 week ago and no trace of it on icloud, so i suppose they have already changed the imei to avoid the block.....