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back to article Hardbitten NYC cops: Sir, I'm gonna need you to, er, upgrade to iOS 7

The New York Police Department's motto, Fidelis Ad Mortem – or "faithful unto death" – could easily pass as the utterance of a fanboi pleading lifelong allegiance to the late Steve Jobs. And it would seem that New Yorkers also keep faith with the Jesus phone – judging by the police force's latest crime-prevention campaign which …

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Paris Hilton

Absolutely Ridiculous

This is utterly pointless. The fingerprint scanner has already been defeated, and since when did being able to lock your phone stop you from getting fucking mugged?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

If people who are going to mug you for your expensive iPhone/iPad know that they aren't going to work after they've been stolen, that would stop quite a few muggings.

Personally I don't see why this hasn't been in the devices from day one...

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Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

It doesn't say "your added security" just "added security". So let's assume its better supports NSA snooping and finding terrorists. i.e. Americas security ;-)

I really am way too cynical....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

Perhaps the NYPD, following in the footsteps of the NSA, has installed a backdoor into the OS. See, it all makes sense now.

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Silver badge

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

Anyone reading the flyer, as wonderfully demonstrated in the article, would have course known that the killer feature here is the lockdown phone feature, rendering stolen iPhones almost worthless.

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Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

"If people who are going to mug you for your expensive iPhone/iPad know that they aren't going to work after they've been stolen, that would stop quite a few muggings."

From what I've heard/read, many phones stolen during muggings are to stop the victim from phoning the police and give the muggers a few more minutes to get clear of the scene. I have no idea if that is true or just hearsay, but makes some degree of sense - in which case whether the phone is locked or not won't make a difference, stealing it stops the victim using it regardless.

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Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

Sure, in those particular cases, it won't help. But it should help in those cases where the phone is the target.

And, if the police think it significant enough to take their time to alert the public to it, then for them it obviously is a commonly-encountered problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: rendering stolen iPhones almost worthless.

Marginally less worth than non-stolen ones then?

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Bronze badge

Re: Umm.

Mugger: Give me your wallet and iphone.

Muggee: Ok, here you go (S.E. grin on face).

Mugger: Hey, what's your unlock code for this thing?

Muggee: I don't have one, it's a fingerprint lock (still grinning).

Mugger: No problem (pulls out pruning shears).

Muggee: (no more grin)

My point being, if you are somewhere remote enough to be mugged, then it makes sense for the mugger to ask for the unlock code, and I wonder just how far they are willing to go to make money off that iphone.

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Silver badge

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

I think the point isn't so much muggings as ordinary thefts. But even then if you leave your device on display then thieves are probably still going to grab it since it might not be updated or attached to Find my iPhone; if they get it without seeing what it is first (via pickpocketing, stealing a bag or whatever) then they're unlikely to come and give it back.

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Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

About 3 yrs ago, my wife had her handbag snatched, iphone and all. After filling out a police report (req'd for insurance re-imbursement) she also gave them the IMEI number as she still had the original box. The plod had no idea what to do with this even though she said they could render the phone banned with it. Nothing was done, and calling Orange was useless as they said it's only the police that can issue the ban.

No idea who's right or wrong, but needless to say some scum made a few bucks from it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

Not sure what Orange were on about, I had a phone on Vodafone stolen and Vodafone blocked it using the IMEI when I reported it stolen to them. All I used the Police for was a crime number.

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Silver badge

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

Ok punk hand over your wallet and your phone.

Is it an iPhone?

Now go to system->about->version, Oh I see it's 7.01, well I want be able to use that, here have your phone back sorry to have bothered you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

> From what I've heard/read, many phones stolen during muggings are to stop the victim from phoning the police and give the muggers a few more minutes to get clear of the scene. I have no idea if that is true or just hearsay

Yes, that is true. We used to just ask them not to phone until we were well clear, but you cannot trust your victims anymore these days. Where is gentlemanship gone? :-(

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Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

Significant enough to get paid by apple to advertise new iOS upgrades, maybe. Do you suppose, if Apple pays them $0.10 per flyer, they claw back $0.03 of that in fees?

Phone theft isn't significant enough for them to actually go track down a stolen phone, for example.

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Stop

Re: Umm.

You'd need both the lock-code (required after every reboot before the fingerprint scanner can be used) AND AppleID and password. It would be a highly switched-on mugger who knew this.

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Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

Stolen phones are exported out of reach of the UK networks' block list.

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Silver badge

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

Give me your phone!

Oh its an iPhone have it back?

Muggings stopped ...0.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

The fingerprint scanner was never a security device, out was always a data collection device.

As for the police, reminds me of the clueless fucktards that work on the security scanners at Heathrow who put up the sign saying ipads and kindles need removing from hand luggage. They get all arsy when I leave my nexus7 and kobo in my luggage and have trouble understanding what the problem with their signs are...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

Better than the clueless fucktards trying to be clever over a sign and slowing everyone down.

No-one is impressed, especially when all they want to do is just get through security with as little hassle as possible.

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Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

Quote: "the killer feature here is the lockdown phone feature, rendering stolen iPhones almost worthless."

iPhones that HAVEN'T been stolen are next to worthless. Expensive and overhyped, yes. But generally worthless.

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Silver badge

Re: Umm.

Security != safety...

As long as the users have any control at all on the added security features, these features make them _less_ safe, not safer.

The hit-and-run kid will still grab your phone no matter what, because even a locked/wiped/etc phone is worth more than nothing at all. And for the more serious muggings, well it will just make the perp want to hang around longer, which is not really _decreasing_ the probability of an "accidental" stabbing/shooting now, is it?

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Bronze badge

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

"If people who are going to mug you for your expensive iPhone/iPad know that they aren't going to work after they've been stolen, that would stop quite a few muggings."

There's an old saying, "Dead men tell no tales". Modify it to meet the current environment, "Dead men lock no phones".

For a hardened criminal, the street violence won't decrease, it will increase in severity.

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Bronze badge

Re: Umm.

As I said above, it's even simpler.

The mugger kills the iphone holder, the phone then isn't locked out.

The dead are striking in their inability to interface with their computer.

Nice idea, just not thought through properly.

Or, maybe it is. Get rid of all those liberal fanbois.

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Bronze badge

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

..."the security scanners at Heathrow..."

Not only there.

I ended up pulling one laptop from the bag, then telling them to hand search the bag, due to the large number of cables and peripherals in the bag.

It's faster.

Amazingly enough, less breakage too.

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Bronze badge

Amateur

The leaflet looks like it was designed by someone in-house: it looks amateur and strikes me as a paper version of something I would consider a scam.

I think they should also be urging all of us to move to trauckers' wallets, as it is much safer to have your stuff chained to your belt. And, while they're at it, they could suggest strongly that we sew hidden pockets into our clothing for our car-keys etc. One can't be too safe.

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Rob
Bronze badge

Re: Amateur

Worse than that, they are using an old Apple logo as a bullet point, I expect the Apple lawyers are already stretching their chains, they have the scent of the NYPD and are waiting to be released.

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Happy

Re: Amateur

All government product safety related collateral looks like that in the US; from basically any agency, State or Federal. The format is based on that used by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The CPSC based their design on the original 'design format' developed during WWII.

It was developed when scams didn't often have accompanying collateral, printing things at home was impossible and anything printed was 'official': Simpler times for sure. Problem now is that everyone knows what official product safety/recall brochures look like and nobody wants to change it due to possible confusion.

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Bronze badge

Re: Amateur

"I think they should also be urging all of us to move to trauckers' wallets, as it is much safer to have your stuff chained to your belt. And, while they're at it, they could suggest strongly that we sew hidden pockets into our clothing for our car-keys etc."

Old trick I relearned from a SAS type, eyewash bottle with bleach, aim for eyes.

If you're squeamish, plain water will also rather distract the bastard, just not as long as blindness does.

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Re: Amateur

Using bleach for personal protection is as illegal (and effective) as wasp spray. If you hang around after your mugging, or if you get caught walking around with it, you're probably going to go to prison for at least as long as your mugger, for a premeditated attempt to seriously injure another person. It's safer to go with pepper spray.

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Anonymous Coward

Somewhat pointless?

Since when did the Police bother to follow up on petty theft?

How is "added security" going to help you when the perp' has run off with your phone?

OK, maybe your data is safer, but you still don't have the phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Somewhat pointless?

The idea is that once you have turned on "activation lock" remotley, nobody but you (or someone who knows your password) can use or reload the phone with a fresh OS. Kind of like a user initated imei blacklist.

How robust it is remains to be seen

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Re: Somewhat pointless?

Since when did the Police bother to follow up on petty theft?

Well, it seems they do in the UK ... see this story

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18739151

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Bronze badge

Re: Somewhat pointless?

@deshpherd

He was a journalist just coming back from a senior meeting at Scotland Yard, so maybe not the average victim.

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Silver badge

Re: Somewhat pointless?

Don't know about where you are, but here in DC the Chief of Police has a raging hard-on to squash 'Apple Picking'. She's been campaigning about it for years with radio appearances and posters in the Metro and city buildings. There's even a special task force to follow up on iPhone thefts.

I guess she's angling for a role at Apple when she leaves the DC Police force.

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Silver badge
Boffin

Ancient Logo

Come on, NYPD, Apple haven't used the stripy logo in - *clickety clickety* - 15 years!

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FAIL

Disable Find my iPhone?

Just swipe up from the lock screen and enable Airplane Mode. How is that an improvement in security?

And let's also add the fact that iOS7 adds the highly useful "call any number from the lockscreen" bug too (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_1Tary_Qoc)

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Bronze badge

Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

It's an improvement because an iPhone permanently on airplane mode is as good as useless. And the second you connect it to a data network, whether 3G, GPRS or Wi-Fi, it's bricked until you enter the Apple ID.

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Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

That's great, until you either want to actually use anything that's on the Internet - or shock, horror use the phone for the purpose for which it was designed, i.e. to actually talk to another human being.

Airplane mode just makes it, quite effectively, an iPod Touch.

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Stop

Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

Or, you know, switch it off. The problem is that you can't do anything with it while it is disconnected from the network or turned off. Not much value to a thief.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

Airplane mode just makes it, quite effectively, an iPod Touch.

... but probably enough to demo to someone who wants to "buy a cheap iphone"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

@Pete Spicer

"Airplane mode just makes it, quite effectively, an iPod Touch." Incorrect. It makes it an iPhone that you'll have to wait for a week or two to find a workaround for the lock.

For example, if you have access to the phone (i.e it's not locked or you see the pass code) you could steal the phone, dump the SIM, reassign it to another (fake) AppleID and quickly wipe the device. This would only take a few minutes- during which time the victim isn't going to be able to call for help anyway.

If you want to remove data from it, swipe the phone and stick it on Airplane mode. You should then be able to pull data off with impunity, erase data, etc. All that's then required is a way of faking Apple's server's acknowledgements for login traffic running on a WLAN and you'd be able to change out the user name the phone's registered to. Alternatively, How Hard Can It Be to re-flash an iPhone with a 'blank' image (perhaps taken from a 'legit' iPhone)?

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Stop

Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

Nice theory, but you can't assign it to another Apple ID unless you know the password for the current ID. Activation is by device ID, not mobile SIM number so changing that won't help either. Once the device is tied via Find my IPhone to your ID it won't let you change that association without entering your password, which the thief won't have.

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Silver badge

Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

Do any of you really honestly believe that a crack addict on a NY street is thinking "Hey, there's a lady using an iPhone. I could really use one of those, unless, of course, it has iOS7, in which case I won't be able to activate it on the network of my choice. Oh well, guess I'll just go to rehab instead."

They're snatch-and-run thefts and then sold in the next alleyway for $20

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142

Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

No. But if enough people do this, on all types of phone, eventually people will stop buying them, even for $20. Granted the thieves will just find another target that people DO want, but...

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Bronze badge

Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

Wrong. The phones are easily worth $20 for the parts alone.

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Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

"Nice theory, but you can't assign it to another Apple ID unless you know the password for the current ID"

Well you will have a person at knife/gun point who knows the password in that situation...

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Stop

Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

So a mugger is going to hang around long enough to extract the password out of you and test that it is correct? The whole point about these kind of things is not that they make theft impossible, but that they increase the risk to the thief and reduce the resale value of a stolen phone. Those two factors together will reduce the number of thefts.

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Silver badge

Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

> So a mugger is going to hang around long enough to extract the password out of you and test that it is correct?

Well they do escort you to the nearest ATM to get at your cash, so yes, yes a mugger is indeed going to hang around long enough, if it is important to them.

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Silver badge

Re: Disable Find my iPhone?

It doesn't matter if he's selling it for $20, $50 or $250 dollars. The point is, he probably doesn't know what kind of phone it is before he mugs you. He just wants the phone to sell to a fence. The fence is the one who disposes of it. Maybe he know the technical details, maybe he doesn't and sell it to a guy who does. Maybe the guy hacks it, maybe he turns it into parts to resell. Either way you're still out an overpriced iPhone. To me this smells of the same Kabuki theater in which the TSA is engaged.

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