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Has Anyone Else Lost Control of Their iPhone?

By Carl Ford January 22, 2018

It seemed innocent enough. In a new group chat from my wife and another number, I was asked to look at her latest post.

We were traveling separately and she was not answering the phone. She is one of those people who posts her status and locations on Facebook, so when I saw the group message to me and a number I did not recognize, I figured it was one of her friends.


I took the bait, clicked the link, and over the next 20 minutes, a ringtone was added, the volume was uncontrollable and my screen had gray streaks of various sizes across it.

I called 1800APLCARE and the very nice woman kept trying to go through a script that I had no way to fulfill.
“Sir, what is the IMEI code”
“Ma’am, as I said at the beginning, I no longer have control of the phone.”

Restart and reboot strategies were thwarted.

I tried to call my wife to tell her not to look at the text message with the link, but it was too late.

While my phone still shows the passcode screen, it does not respond and, as I sit here writing this, I have an alarm I cannot turn off. I also think it’s probably a bad idea to use my access code right now.

In a matter of moments we went from a smart phone to a dumb brick.

Given that Apple seems to have been unprepared for this, I think this might be something new. I would love to hear from others if they know what this is. I am assuming Apple is going to be fielding a lot of these calls.

When it comes to security in IoT, I get very annoyed at people who see greater risk from IoT than in consumer products. In my phone is a lot of personal data that I do not want exploited. In my smart thermostat, there is not. We will be discussing these and several other issues this week at the IoT Evolution Expo and IoT Security 4.0 Conference in Orlando, Florida. Watch this space for news from the show.

We will see where this takes us. Send me a note.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Partner, Crossfire Media

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