How Hackers Unlock iCloud Locked iPhones, this is an amazing cover by motherboard.vice magazine you should read. Apple.com added a security feature intended to make iPhones less important targets to thieves. An iPhone can only be connected to one iCloud account, meaning that, in order to trade it to someone else or sell it in order for a stolen phone to be used by someone new. that account needs to be removed from the phone completely. A stolen iPhone which is still connected to the original owner’s iCloud account is ineffective for personal use or reselling purposes unless you remove it for parts because at any point the first owner can remotely lock the iPhone and find its position with Find My iPhone. Without the owner’s password, the original owner’s account can’t use the iPhone and the device can’t be factory reset. This protection feature describes why some criminals have been demanding passwords from their victims.
How Hackers and Scammers Unlock iCloud Locked iPhones
There are three ways to remove an iCloud account from an iPhone:
- The password to the original owner’s iCloud can be entered to remove it, which a hacker could obtain via phishing.
- An Apple Store manager can override iCloud. Scammers can trick Apple Store managers into unlocking a device they don’t own.
- The iPhone’s CPU can be removed from the Logic Board and reprogrammed to create what is essentially a “new” device (this is very labor intensive and rare. It is generally done in Chinese refurbishing labs and involves stealing a “clean” phone identification number called an IMEI.)
All of these methods are used to unlock specific devices and resell them, though some methods are far easier and more generally used than others.
“Not every iCloud-locked phone is a stolen device,” RootJunky, an instructor at Phonlab, a company that teaches smartphone repair shops about software-related issues in the industry, told Motherboard. “But every method for removing iCloud involves illegal activity.”
How Hackers Unlock iCloud Locked iPhone
When attempting to resell a stolen or lost iPhone, first the unlocker needs to understand more about the iphone they have in their property. Does it have Find My iPhone enabled? Has the owner already reported it as stolen to Apple? To answer these questions, the hackers usually use access to a tool which provides information on phones.
Motherboard magazine cover “How Hackers Unlock iCloud Locked iPhones” was not able to confirm the exact database that scammers are using but tested several online services that returned accurate information about a icloud information device, including whether Find My iPhone was activated and whether it was reported as lost, stolen or ‘clean’.
If someone who is trying to unlock a phone doesn’t want to go through the hassle of securing their own lookup access, they can also use a site that provides information on Apple devices for a fee. iFreeiCloud.co.uk can provide reports such as whether a device has been reported as stolen to a carrier.