A major security glitch in iOS 7 and iOS 7.1 makes it impossible to locate stolen iPhones. This glitch lets the stolen iPhone's 'Find My iPhone' facility to be deactivated/disabled in minutes.
For those unfamiliar with 'Find My iPhone', it is an iPhone security feature that helps users to locate stolen iPhones.
According to BGR, "iPhone is one of thieves' greatly desired devices. The New York Police Department remarked that thefts of Apple devices were predominately responsible for the rise in crime in 2013."
The aforementioned line explains the humongous importance of the stolen device tracker feature 'Find My iPhone'.
Youtuber Miguel Alvarado discovered and reported the bug by uploading a video explaining the fault. He explains the way to disable 'Find My iPhone' feature from iPhone; this flaw will make the iPhone undiscoverable.
Click here to watch the video.
It is worth mentioning that, 'Find My iPhone' needs the user to enter password for the Apple ID connected to the iCloud account. This security system guarantees that iPhone thieves cannot delete the account and in turn avoid getting tracked through the 'Find My iPhone' website.
According to Miguel (via 9to5mac), there is a way to bypass this password requirement, the user has to tap both the 'delete account' and 'disable Find My iPhone' toggles at the same time in the iCloud settings. When asked for a password, phone should be shut down. Upon restarting the phone, navigate to the iCloud settings panel where the account can be deleted without any password prompt.
Following this, the iPhone can be plugged into iTunes, contents can be erased and the phone can be restored with no issue.
This glitch clearly points out the perennial importance of having a strong password, PIN or TouchID on your phone to prevent intruders from getting into iCloud settings.
Interestingly, Miguel is not looking for anything from Apple in return for his finding. He says, "This video is intended for educational purposes only, hence share it so Apple can fix it."
Apple has been plagued with several lapses in the recent times. According to BGR, last year there were several claims about a glitch that could potentially let thieves prevent 'Find My iPhone' feature from functioning if the phone owner forgets to disable a default Control Panel feature manually.
However, Apple has not commented on this glitch thus far.