Apple Unveils Advanced Theft-Deterrent Feature for iPhones in Latest iOS Update

December 13, 2023 –

In a significant advancement in smartphone security, Apple Inc. has announced the launch of a groundbreaking feature for iPhones, designed to safeguard user data against theft and unauthorized access. This innovation emerges amidst a growing need for more robust security measures in the face of sophisticated threats.

The feature, set to be incorporated in the upcoming iOS 17.3 update, introduces an enhanced level of security by integrating Apple’s renowned FaceID technology with a specialized mode for stolen devices. In scenarios where an iPhone is located in an unusual environment, potentially indicating theft or loss, the device will activate a new “Theft-Deterrent Mode.” This mode necessitates both FaceID recognition and the user’s password for executing sensitive operations, such as accessing stored passwords or initiating a phone wipe.

This development was motivated by recent media revelations of a scam where thieves, typically in social settings like night bars, would acquaint themselves with victims to learn their passwords. These criminals would then steal the phones and use the obtained passwords to disable various anti-theft features, including Apple’s Activation Lock and Lost Mode. A fully operational stolen iPhone is far more valuable on the black market compared to one that is software-locked, which often ends up being dismantled for parts.

An Apple spokesperson highlighted the company’s dedication to evolving security measures: “As threats to our users’ devices continue to evolve, we are relentlessly innovating to develop robust new protections for both the users and their data. With the rare instances where thieves observe and steal device passwords, the Stolen Device Protection adds a complex new layer of security.”

This initiative reflects Apple’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the highest level of security for its users, adapting to the ever-changing landscape of digital threats. The feature is expected to significantly deter theft and unauthorized access, providing users with enhanced peace of mind.

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