Former iPhone Thief Reveals Tactics Used to Hijack Phones and Exploit Apple’s Security Vulnerabilities

An investigative video by the Wall Street Journal details the methods used by a convicted iPhone thief, Aaron Johnson, to exploit a security vulnerability in Apple’s software and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from unwitting victims. Johnson, who now faces several years in prison, would target individuals around bars, often using deception to obtain their iPhones and passcodes. Once in possession of these, he would quickly lock owners out of their devices and drain their bank accounts. The video also discusses Apple’s recent response to these issues with the introduction of a new security feature, though some vulnerabilities persist.

  • Aaron Johnson stole hundreds of iPhones and large sums of money by exploiting a security vulnerability in Apple’s software.
  • He targeted people in bars and used various tactics to obtain their phones and passcodes.
  • With the passcode, Johnson could lock victims out of their Apple accounts, change their Apple ID password, and access their bank apps and money.
  • Apple created a new security feature called “stolen device protection,” which requires users to turn it on manually.
  • Johnson would sell the stolen iPhones for up to $900 each, depending on the model and storage capacity.
  • He would also buy Apple products using stolen Apple Pay functions and then resell them.
  • Apple’s new security feature adds biometric requirements for changing an Apple ID password, adding a new face ID, or disabling the “Find My iPhone” function.
  • Johnson’s criminal group was suspected of stealing about $300,000, but Johnson estimates the total could be between one and $2 million.
  • Johnson expressed remorse and claimed he would change his life upon release from prison.

The Wall Street Journal is an American business and economic-focused international daily newspaper based in New York City. The Journal is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp.

AllSides Media Bias Rating: Center

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Original video here.

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