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Title: Password Secrets Unveiled: Thief Reveals iPhone Theft Technique


Title: "Password Secrets Unveiled: Thief Reveals iPhone Theft Technique"

A convicted US thief has disclosed how he stole hundreds of iPhones, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars by exploiting a security loophole.

Apple Works on Facilitating Communication Between iPhone and Other Phones

Title: Password Secrets Unveiled: Thief Reveals iPhone Theft Technique

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, 26-year-old Aaron Johnson, serving an eight-year sentence in a high-security prison, explained that the crucial factor in all phone thefts was the "passwords." He would loot the phones by exploiting security vulnerabilities in banking apps installed on the devices.

Johnson claimed he wasn't a "sophisticated cybercriminal" but rather stumbled upon the realization that stolen phones could be much more valuable. According to police records, he and his accomplices managed to steal over $300,000.

Women More Cautious

Johnson explained that he targeted dimly lit bars filled with people, focusing on college-aged individuals, especially those in a "drunken state." He noted that women were usually more "cautious and attentive to suspicious behavior."

Approaching his targets, he would tell them he was a rap artist and wanted to add them on Snapchat. He would then ask them to hand over their phones, pretending to input information. Unbeknownst to them, he would quickly change the password and even alter the Apple account password to prevent remote tracking or deletion.

What Did He Do?

Johnson paid close attention to how the victims entered their passwords. Once in possession of the phone, he would change the password and even modify the associated Apple account password to prevent tracking or remote erasure. In a matter of seconds, he would register his face as the device's recognition, granting access to saved passwords for various apps and programs. This allowed him to access banking apps, cryptocurrencies, and additional information found in notes or photos.

By morning, he would transfer funds or make purchases through Apple Pay for resale. After completing the theft, he would wipe the phone clean and sell it.

Johnson mentioned that he targeted iPhones because their resale value remained high, even for used devices.

New Feature to Protect Stolen Devices

Last week, Apple announced a new feature called "Stolen Device Protection" to safeguard against such crimes exploiting knowledge of passcodes. However, activating this feature is essential for protection, adding new layers of security when away from familiar locations such as home or work.

To change passwords, a thief would need facial or fingerprint confirmation, not solely relying on the password. The feature also includes a one-hour delay followed by another biometric check if the thief attempts to disable "Find My iPhone" or deactivate facial recognition.

The Journal advises adding extra protection layers to banking and money transfer apps. Users are also urged to delete any sensitive information, safeguard passwords or social security numbers, and ensure that saved information is protected with a unique password distinct from the device's password.