Before Apple announced its upcoming option for increasing iPhone security (see “Apple to Introduce Stolen Device Protection in the Upcoming iOS 17.3,” 14 December 2023), Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal was recording this interview with Aaron Johnson, an iPhone passcode thief serving 94 months in the Minnesota Correctional Facility. Powerful stuff.
Once iOS 17.3 ships, I’ll be turning Stolen Device Protection on, and I encourage you to do so as well unless Touch ID or Face ID don’t work reliably for you.
That said, although Johnson often used video to steal passcodes, the technical trickery level in many of these thefts wasn’t high—some inebriated bar patrons shared their passcodes with Johnson just because he asked as part of a story. The moral is still, “Never give your iPhone passcode to anyone you wouldn’t trust with your bank account.”