iOS 17.3: New Stolen Device Protection Feature

Apple introduced a new security function in the beta version of iOS 17.3 that increases the security of iPhones in the event of theft. The function is called “Stolen Device Protection” and protects the device even if the thief knows the passcode.

Stolen Device Protection
The introduction of the Stolen Device Protection function in iOS 17.3 solves a significant security problem.

The function for protecting stolen devices has the following attributes:  

Biometric authentication for accessing saved passwords: If this function is active, authentication with Face ID or Touch ID is required to access saved passwords on the iPhone, which creates an additional layer of security to ensure that only the rightful owner can access sensitive information.  

screenshot stolen device protection

Security delay when changing sensitive settings: Changing important settings, such as the Apple ID password, is protected by a security delay. Even if a thief knows your passcode, he or she will not be able to change your Apple ID password immediately. Instead, a second biometric authentication will be required after an hour of waiting. The delay is critical to prevent immediate unauthorized access and gives the.owner.time to take appropriate action.  

Location-based security protocols: The security delay is deactivated as soon as the iPhone is in a known geographical location, e.g. at home or in the office. This ensures user convenience while maintaining security in case the device is potentially used by an unauthorized person.  

Restriction of passcode as fallback: Biometric authentication is required to use passwords or passkeys and for actions such as applying for an Apple Card, erasing an iPhone, or using payment methods stored on the iPhone if the user is in an unknown location. A passcode cannot be used under these circumstances. Such leads to improved protection for sensitive actions. For sensitive actions, such as changing the security settings of the Apple ID, deactivating “Find My,” or the Stolen Device Protection function described in this article, the one-hour security delay explained above occurs if the device is not in a trusted location. The user then has to authenticate themselves again with Face ID.    

To activate “Stolen Device Protection”, please make sure that your iPhone is running the beta version of iOS 17.3. Go to the “Settings” app, tap “Face ID & Passcode” (or “Touch ID & Passcode”) and select “Stolen Device Protection”.

Impact on the security of iPhones: With the introduction of stolen device protection in iOS 17.3, a significant security issue has been resolved. Without the new security feature, thieves can quickly gain access to an iPhone by spying on the owner’s passcode through observation. As soon as they change the Apple ID password, the owner is locked out. The new protection function in iOS 17.3 now presents thieves with considerable hurdles and makes it much more difficult for them to misuse a stolen iPhone.  

This update is a response to reported cases of iPhone theft, particularly in public places. With these new security measures, Apple strives to better protect its users and their data from such threats.  
You can also read other blog posts on the subject of security, e.g. Increased  security for Cortado MDM thanks to Cloudflare integration 

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