U.S. State and federal governments test Apple’s iOS 7 activation lock feature

“Apple and Samsung’s latest smartphones will face the scrutiny of state and federal prosecutors in San Francisco on Thursday, who plan to test the latest in antitheft security,” Josh Lowensohn reports for CNET. “San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman are testing the latest security features of Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 to see whether they can stop thieves who have made off with said devices.”

“In the iPhone 5’s case, the group will have security experts attempting to thwart Apple’s activation lock feature, which requires users to have a specific Apple ID username and password to use the device,” Lowensohn reports. “For the Galaxy S4, experts are evaluating Lojack for Android, a $29.99 per year application that can remotely lock the phone and delete personal data.”

Lowensohn reports, “Gascón and Schneiderman say the group will bring in experts from the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center to try to bypass the measures, and gain access to the devices as if they were someone who had stolen the phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Keystone Cops. And, how does an optional US$29.99 per year app absolve Google and their affiliated handset assemblers from responsibility? A third-party app is not a “security feature” of a Samsung phone (the fact that it’s a Samsung phone, in fact, is better theft prevention that anything in its patent-infringing skinned OS).

The average Fragmandroid settler would hand over his or her mom before ponying up 99-cents, much less $29.99/year.

Related articles:
Mobile Threats Report: Android accounts for 92% of all mobile malware – June 26, 2013
Latest self-replicating Android Trojan looks and acts just like Windows malware – June 7, 2013
99.9% of new mobile malware targets Android phones – May 30, 2013
Mobile malware exploding, but only for Android – May 14, 2013
Mobile malware: Android is a bad apple – April 15, 2013
F-Secure: Android accounted for 96% of all mobile malware in Q4 2012 – March 7, 2013
New malware attacks Android phones, Windows PCs to eavesdrop, steal data; iPhone, Mac users unaffected – February 4, 2013
FBI issues warning over Android malware attacks – October 15, 2012
Researchers discover serious flaw in Android app security, say HTC and Samsung ignore issue – September 28, 2012
Apple’s iPhone has passed a key security threshold – August 13, 2012
Android permissions flaw allows eavesdropping, data theft, location tracking – December 2, 2011
Massive HTC Android security flaw leaves security expert speechless – October 2, 2011
Apple’s iOS unaffected by malware as Android exploits surge 76% – August 24, 2011
Android malware records phone calls; iPhone users unaffected – August 2, 2011
Symantec: Apple iOS offers ‘full protection,’ Google Android ‘little protection’ vs. malware attacks – June 29, 2011
Malware apps spoof Android Market to infect Android phones – June 21, 2011
Google forced to pull several malware-infested apps from Android market – June 8, 2011
Android malware sees explosive growth; even faster than with PCs – April 27, 2011
Virus-laden apps infest Google’s ‘open’ Android platform; iPhone unaffected – March 3, 2011
Security firm warns of new Android trojan that can steal personal information; iPhone unaffected – December 30, 2010
Trojan infects Android smartphones; iPhone unaffected – August 10, 2010
Millions of Android phone users slammed by malicious data theft app – July 29, 2010
Unlike proactive Apple, reactive Google doesn’t block malware from Android app store – June 4, 2010
Malware designed to steal bank information pops up in Google’s Android app store – January 11, 2010

27 Comments

  1. I think this will stop some thefts but not all. When the thieves starts to notice that there is an activation lock on the phone they will just hold up a knife to your throat and ask for your ID. Of course, it will probably stop thefts from a back pack or a purse so the thefts that do take place will probably be more serious. And when they got your ID, they can do so much more than use your phone. This is a solution for casual thefts, nothing else.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.