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software to remote wipe iphone

Posted on 2012-03-14
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Last Modified: 2012-03-16
using 'find my iphone' app requires location services to be turned on all the time.
the person who stole it would definitely turned off any wifi, etc such that remote wipe is difficult.

anyone has experience using other software that can remotely wipe an iphone successfully quickly?
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Question by:grnow
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13 Comments
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Hamidreza Vakilian
ID: 37719783
If he turn wifi off how would you remotely require the device to wipe? Since you will have no access to the device since then.
On the other hand there is no app other than find my iphone exists that can wipe iDevice remotely. Thats because wiping an iDevice is an extreme critical task and apple does not let 3rd party apps to access such a low level API.

Unfortunately there is no other application than find my iphone able of this.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Elmar-H
ID: 37719787
if theres no connection via GSM or Wifi, theres no way to whipe this. you can not connect to your iphone to tell him to wipe
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:MikeyLLB
ID: 37719833
Without an active connection, it would be impossible to send a remote wipe command, and as mentioned this is a very low-level API function which apple do not allow developers to tap into with third party apps. However a combination of IMEI blocking by network providers and apple's remote wipe which will wipe a phone if the connection is re-established with the same IMEI is about as good as it gets.
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:Mac2010
Mac2010 earned 200 total points
ID: 37719966
For a stranger to be able to turn off Location Services, Wi-Fi or mobile data connection, he/she needs to be able to unlock the iPhone first.

My suggestion is to first change the iPhone settings, so that it is always required to enter a passcode or -phrase before the screen can be unlocked.

If it is for business use, you can also sign up for a "Mobile Device Management" service, like Mobile Iron or Air Watch. Such a service also allows you to remotely wipe an iPhone or other mobile devices.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:TazDevil1674
ID: 37719984
For a stranger to be able to turn off Location Services, Wi-Fi or mobile data connection, he/she needs to be able to unlock the iPhone first.


If someone stole a phone and disabled all this - what use would the phone be then...
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LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:Hamidreza Vakilian
Hamidreza Vakilian earned 100 total points
ID: 37719999
I think you can enable auto-lock for your phone and also enable erase data option, so that if he entered an incorrect code several times, the phone wipes itself automatically.
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:MikeyLLB
MikeyLLB earned 100 total points
ID: 37720010
I think you can enable auto-lock for your phone and also enable erase data option, so that if he entered an incorrect code several times, the phone wipes itself automatically.

This is correct, however it is not bulletproof. As always with data security a multi-layered approach is best. Using multiple security methods (Find My iPhone, Passcode, Auto-Wipe (incorrect passcodes) is your best bet towards having a truly secure iPhone.

Even then, the best approach? Keep an eye on your phone so it doesn't get stolen if at all possible.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Mac2010
ID: 37720142
@TazDevil1674

If someone stole a phone and disabled all this - what use would the phone be then...

Maybe someone wants to see the private videos you shot with it..... ;-)

@grnow
What goal do you have in mind with your question. Is it data protection? Or being able to locate the device when you can't find it?

In case of data protection, make sure you make frequent backups too. To your own PC/Mac or in the cloud.
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Author Comment

by:grnow
ID: 37720863
Hi all, thanks for the suggestion. yes, its more of data protection and erasing all info if the phone got stolen or lost. i'm just thinking of the below scenarios:

1) if the phone got lost when it was not locked + guy disable the mobileme, that means data definitely will be revealed and no way to even remote wipe right?

2) if phone got stolen when it was locked yet erase data option NOT enabled, the person take out the sim card, this would mean the phone would basically be useless and can't be used anymore?

find iphone will send a remote wipe as long as it detects the iphone is ON ?
curious to know if the phone needs to be on for at least a certain period of time before the remote wipe will work?
is there a time period where find iphone remember the settings to send a remote wipe? eg. if the phone gets lost and a remote wipe was sent but the phone was off.. maybe few months down the road, the phone is somehow connected again, will the remote wipe still activate?
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:MikeyLLB
ID: 37720910
The remote wipe will lay dormant until the phone is switched on and will then activate as soon as a wi-fi or cellular data signal is received.
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:Mac2010
Mac2010 earned 200 total points
ID: 37721203
1) if the phone got lost when it was not locked + guy disable the mobileme, that means data definitely will be revealed and no way to even remote wipe right?
Probably

2) if phone got stolen when it was locked yet erase data option NOT enabled, the person take out the sim card, this would mean the phone would basically be useless and can't be used anymore?
The finder or thief could erase the Phone and reinstall it. Of try jailbreaking and replace SIM cards. I'm not sure if telephone providers have some kind of decvice SIM-locking installed, but not that I know of (but I could be wrong).

is there a time period where find iphone remember the settings to send a remote wipe? eg. if the phone gets lost and a remote wipe was sent but the phone was off.. maybe few months down the road, the phone is somehow connected again, will the remote wipe still activate?
I've never put this to the test, so I can't answer this. If the management/erasing system is still active and looking for the iPhone periodically, this should work.

The iPhone data gets erased by deleting the (AES) encryption key; which means that the data is still there but unreadable. All iPhone data (from iPhone 3GS and up) is hardware-encrypted by default.

Slightly off topic; a program that I'm going to test is this one. I will not erase the iPhone, but will make and send pictures of the person using it.
http://www.gadgettrak.com/products/iphone/
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

by:
Leon Fester earned 100 total points
ID: 37724293
If you had the device lock enabled, the whole device should be locked, even when changing the SIM card. If you had data encryption enabled, then data would not be accessible unless the phone was unlocked.

If I'm not mistaken then even jailbreaking the phone after the data encryption should destroy your data as the encryption key would be destroyed.

As mentioned above, Some connectivety via wireless/3G would be needed and if the device wipe signal is sent, it (the signal) will "wait" for the device to connect to the service that initiated the remote wipe and then wipe the phone.

I've tested this via ActiveSync on Exchange 2007.

How to wipe a iPhone from Apple site
http://www.apple.com/iphone/built-in-apps/find-my-iphone.html

ActiveSync can also wipe the iphone
http://www.apple.com/iphone/business/integration/

Apple iPhone
Apple's $99-per-year MobileMe service offers Mac users the ability to push e-mail, contacts, and calendar entries to the iPhone (among other things). But one key feature, first announced in March and later introduced with iPhone OS 3.0, lets MobileMe users perform a remote wipe on a lost or stolen iPhone. It's found under Account -> Find My iPhone -> Remote Wipe. It can also display a message on the phone's screen, like "please call Jamie at 718-555-1212 if found."
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2352755,00.asp
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Author Comment

by:grnow
ID: 37730208
mac2010, this link http://www.gadgettrak.com/products/iphone/ , the product is interesting but in itunes, the review not so good.

will accept multiple suggestions as solutions
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