When an Apple user loses or has their iPhone stolen, they can locate it or, failing that, block it so that others cannot use it.
Since 2013, Cupertino’s company has introduced a security feature, the Lost Mode , which can block your iOS device, Apple Watch or Mac from being accessed by others.
However, both hackers and cybercriminals have for years fed different techniques with which it is possible to unlock these devices and thus resell them on the illegal market . In this article we tell you about the three main techniques currently used to access an iPhone blocked by iCloud.
So you can lock and track your device with Lost Mode in Find My iPhone
It is not nice for anyone to lose their smartphone , let alone have it stolen. iPhone owners are not free from these events, although they have the necessary tools to recover or block it .
When an iPhone user is in either of these two situations they can either log into icloud.comfind on a Mac or PC , or use the Find My iPhone app on another device . That way, you can see your location on the map and have it play a sound . But you can also activate Lost mode to block it from other people from accessing your personal information.
An iPhone can only be associated with one iCloud account and therefore, if it is stolen or lost, the only way to use it is to associate a new account . That’s why a stolen iPhone that’s still connected to the original owner’s iCloud account is not for personal use or resale (unless you delete it in parts).
These are the main methods that hackers use to unlock an iPhone
While Apple’s established security feature helped to reduce the number of stolen phones, criminals have found new ways to unlock the device and resell the terminals on the illegal market .
As highlighted in a Vice report, iPhones legitimately blocked by iCloud provide the independent smartphone repair industry with replacement parts that are difficult to obtain directly from Apple.
However, they all know that an unlocked terminal is more useful than a locked one and, for that reason, they have become clients of illegal companies that use phishing , hacking and other methods and scams to unlock devices.
There are three ways to remove an iCloud account from an iPhone: by using phishing or phishing to get the iCloud password, by forging purchase invoices to have it unlocked at an Apple Store or by removing the iPhone chip and “reprogramming” it to create a “new” device, which is very unusual and involves a lot of effort.
When a hacker wants to unlock an iPhone, he must identify several things in advance. For example, to know if its owner has already reported it as lost or stolen and also if the Find My iPhone function has been activated. To do this, use online services that are able to determine this information .
In addition, different “special phishing kits” are provided by cybercriminals on the black market. With these “kits” they can trick victims into giving up their Apple ID password or generate fake maps to trick them.
The iCloud Phishing Kits include templates designed to trick a victim and, in addition, maintain an updated online log with notifications of successful phishing. They can cost approximately $75 and, according to BlackViirus, can have up to 1,500 customers per vendor. They often accept payments via PayPal or Skrill, another money transfer service.
Social engineering as an illegal method of unblocking
Not always the phishing becomes a successful method. Many computer criminals choose to use other types of methods related to social engineering in Apple stores or with the company’s customer services.
For example, some fraudsters forge apocryphal receipts to try to unlock terminals in Apple stores , where staff are able to identify the status of the iCloud account by means of a “support application” which then allows administrators to request an unlocking .
Many independent repair companies regularly purchase devices with blocked iCloud , even if they do not intend to try to unblock them. The repair industry needs these parts and, that’s why, many companies buy these phones at telecom industry auctions . Although there are also many gray ones.