when to give up on iphone remote wipe?
July 3, 2011 9:53 AM   Subscribe

My iphone was stolen a few days ago. I activated remote wipe about 2 hours after it was taken, but the wipe hasn't taken effect yet. What's next?

I'd really like the reassurance of getting a wipe confirmation, but while I wait, I can't suspend my phone service or get a replacement phone, because cutting off the old phone will stop the remote wipe from getting through. Should I wait a few more days, or give up and start the process of replacing the phone, which would also cancel the wipe?

I've already changed my passwords for services I use on the phone, but I'm worried about the stored emails, contacts, etc. The phone was locked with a passcode, but I didn't have encryption turned on. Gmail reports no contacts from the phone since it was stolen, and my number doesn't appear to have been used for calls or texts, which also implies that they didn't move the SIM to an unlocked phone to use it.

To help me decide, i'd like to know what the thieves can do with the data on the phone. If there's no practical way to get at my data without the passcode, then I might as well just let it go. Is it possible for the thieves to wipe the phone via itunes even without the passcode? That seems like the most practical thing for a phone thief to do.
posted by moonmilk to Technology (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
FWIW, when someone snagged my daughter's iPhone (she got it back within the afternoon) the guy who took it popped the SIM card out within the first minute, so tracking and remote wipe were never a possibility. Unless your thief is a fool, I think it's quite likely that your wipe will never work.

The thieves can certainly both access most data on the phone, if they're sophisticated enough. They can wipe it and resell it even more easily, and with very little sophistication or effort.

(Personal opinion, not speaking for any employer past or present)
posted by tyllwin at 10:23 AM on July 3, 2011

From this article:
Security expert: iPhone password hack shows flawed security model
, I would have to assume that all the data and passwords on the phone have been compromised; at the least the phone has already been wiped.

I am not sure that the remote data wipe on the phone requires a cell phone connection; it is through Apple, not the cell provider, which means any data connection will cause it to be wiped, regardless of whether it has your SIM card in it or not.
posted by meowzilla at 11:18 AM on July 3, 2011

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