The thief made millions by stealing iPhones and their passwords. He told how the victims themselves helped him

Thief made millions by stealing iPhones and passwords. He told how the victims themselves helped him

December 21, 02:05 Share:

iPhones were extremely vulnerable to thieves (Photo: David Švihovec/Unsplash)

Before the launch of Apple's new Stolen Device Protection feature, attackers could easily steal iPhones and use victims' bank accounts — all they had to do was know the smartphone password. Convicted thief reveals how he used it.

American Aaron Johnson is currently serving an eight-year sentence for stealing an iPhone in a Minnesota penitentiary.. Police have accused a man of stealing $300,000 from his victims' bank accounts.. However, the attacker himself told The Wall Street Journal that in total he stole from 1 to 2 million dollars. According to him, access to valuable information that freed his hands was provided by the victims themselves.

The man claims that he started stealing when he found himself in a difficult situation: on the street, without work and with a child.. Eventually, he moved on to stealing smartphones. This happened after he came up with an almost sure-fire plan to obtain the victims' passwords before stealing the smartphone.

Johnson says he visited bars at night and looked for mostly male students who were drunk enough to not understand what was going on around them.. He talked to them, posing as a famous rapper, and offered to add them to Snapchat. For this purpose, he asked the victims for their iPhones.. The men thought Johnson would simply enter his contact information and return the device, so they agreed. Then the attacker unobtrusively found out their passwords.

“I say: “Your phone is locked, what’s the password?”. They say: «2−3-4−5-6» or something like that. And then I just remembered him. … This password is the devil,” says the man.

Instead of handing over the smartphone, Johnson handed it over to his accomplices. ( 11 of them were arrested). Having an iPhone and its password, Johnson and his accomplices changed the Apple ID password and turned off the feature that allows the owner to find the device. Johnson then added his face to Face ID, which gave him « the key to everything». He also studied the notes and gallery in search of information that could provide a clue to enter bank accounts. Having everything he needed, the thief emptied the victims' cards. In particular, purchasing goods in stores using Apple Pay. Thus, Johnson managed to steal up to 30 iPhones in one weekend and earn $20,000 by purchasing goods and then selling the phones.

It is these types of crimes that will be prevented by the new Apple Stolen Device Protection feature, which, as NV Techno wrote, was added to the new iOS 17.3. It limits the actions of iPhone thieves even when they know the victim's password.

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