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Apple's Beta iOS 17.3 Introduces Stolen Device Protection to Thwart Passcode-Knowing Thieves

Apple is taking steps to enhance the security of its iPhones with the addition of a new feature called Stolen Device Protection.

The feature, which is part of the beta version of iOS 17.3, aims to prevent thieves from gaining access to critical device data even if they know the user's passcode. By requiring Face ID or Touch ID authentication, the feature makes it more difficult for thieves to wipe a stolen iPhone and resell it.

Thieves have been known to exploit the knowledge of a device's passcode to access personal data, steal money and disrupt a person's digital life. With Stolen Device Protection, accessing stored passwords, changing Apple ID settings, viewing payment information and disabling Find My iPhone will require Face ID or Touch ID authentication, eliminating the option to use a passcode.

By implementing Face ID or Touch ID for accessing critical parts of the iPhone, the potential damage caused by thieves is significantly reduced. Wiping the device and reselling it becomes a more challenging task. Apple has not specified when the new feature will be available to all customers, but it is expected to be released publicly in early 2024 with the launch of iOS 17.3.

Apple stated, "As threats to user devices continue to evolve, we work tirelessly to develop powerful new protections for our users and their data. In the rare cases where a thief can observe the user entering the passcode and then steal the device, Stolen Device Protection adds a sophisticated new layer of protection."

The Stolen Device Protection feature will introduce a one-hour delay and require a second Face ID or Touch ID scan for sensitive tasks such as changing an Apple ID password, disabling the Stolen Device Protection feature, creating a new passcode and disabling Touch ID or Face ID. However, there will be no delay if users are in a known location, such as their home or workplace.

This move by Apple demonstrates its commitment to continuously improving the security of its devices and protecting user data. By implementing stronger authentication measures, Apple aims to provide users with peace of mind and safeguard their personal information from potential threats.


  • Apple's beta iOS 17.3 introduces Stolen Device Protection to enhance iPhone security.

  • The feature requires Face ID or Touch ID authentication for accessing critical device data.

  • Thieves who know the passcode will find it harder to wipe a stolen iPhone and resell it.

Source: SCMP

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