Activation-Lock-02

A new service from smartphone unlocking company ChronicUnlocks is offering iPhone users the ability to remove Apple’s Activation Lock security feature that the company first introduced in iOS 7.

Activation Lock, a security feature that Apple first announced alongside iOS 7, is supposed to be a theft deterrent by making it harder for lost and stolen devices to be reactivated on the second hand market. The feature accomplishes this by linking a device’s activation to the user’s iCloud account. Since its launch Activation Lock has been credited by police as helping reduce iPhone theft in some cities, but there are some legitimate cases where users are unable to remove the Activation Lock.

For example, devices that are sold on the second hand market with Activation Lock enabled can only be disabled by following Apple’s steps to remove the feature using the original owner’s iCloud info. Apple’s advice is to make sure the feature is switched off before purchasing it, but that doesn’t do much for users with used iPhones in hand and no way to contact the original owner. Users that for whatever reason lose access to their Apple ID account could also be stuck with a legally purchased device they can’t unlock. Apple’s support doc notesIf you forget your password and cannot reset it, you will lose access to your Apple ID and may be unable to use or reactivate your device.”

The service claims it won’t remove the Activation Lock for devices that have been put in “Lost Mode”— a feature of Apple’s “Find My iPhone” app that Apple recommends enabling when a device is lost or stolen— but it’s unclear exactly how it might detect other stolen devices without the feature enabled. More from ChronicUnlocks:

This will absolutely not work for a lost/stolen device. In the US, stolen devices is the most commonly known reason for iCloud Lock, but handsets that have iCloud Lock due to being lost/stolen cannot be fixed with this service. The service is primarily for devices that a user has acquired second hand and the buyer hadn’t removed their iCloud details from it, as that is not something that many people know that they need to do when selling a device. Additionally, in countries like Saudi Arabia or Yemen, handset owners have set and forgotten their iCloud password, and there is no Apple Stores in the country that they can take the device to (Even though they can almost always produce a purchase receipt / invoice).

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45 Responses to “New service bypasses Apple’s Activation Lock theft deterrent feature for $150”

  1. I guess the price of stolen iPhones just went up $150.

    • myke2241 says:

      until Apple fixes the issue. i would trust this as if you get your device unlock and then Apple fixes the issue and then your device gets relocked.

      • joshalfie says:

        There’s no issue to fix. What is not mentioned in the article is that Apple retail stores can actually bypass this too if original purchase receipt is provided with the identity matching the name on the receipt.

        If people are buying second hand products then they need to be more informed.

      • joshalfie is 100% correct. The only iPhones sold with activation lock on eBay are stolen. If there was a mistake and the RIGHTFUL owner forgot to take activation lock off, but they know their Apple ID and password, this is an easy remedy.

      • kevicosuave says:

        Joshalfie is missing the point. There is an issue to fix and that is in preventing 3rd parties from bypassing activation lock. It is mentioned in the article that Apple Stores can do this, as they state part of the problem is that some people live where there are no stores.

        The point of this thread started off by saying that if you have a stolen iPhone, for $150 you can now have an activated iPhone, as long as it wasn’t put in lost mode. However it’s unclear if this is a technical limitation or a policy.

        Regardless, this is something Apple should fix, and if it does, myke2241 is saying that those who were bypassed via 3rd party may find their devices re-activation locked and out the $150.

      • robe1money says:

        See you the latest way to Bypass iCloud Activation Lock on your iPhone 4 5 5c 5s 4s and all iPad models. We have the right solution for you, after a long work finally we can promote out new software to Bypass iCloud Activation that works for all models of iPhone and iPad. http://www.hacktivateiphone.com/2014/07/bypass-icloud-activation-lock-for.html

  2. This is Fake and Scam just like Doulci, Gadgetwide and many many more… Nobody bypass activation lock so far. Don’t publish if you did not check information.

  3. pateljj04 says:

    My guess is, he is using Apples Profile manager to enroll the devices into a MDM and clearing the lock. Also giving them the power to wipe the device whenever they want. So I wouldn’t recommend it – http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5927?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

    • DirtySecksyRobot says:

      That won’t work on devices that are already locked – “MDM can’t control Activation Lock on unsupervised devices. ” The device has to be unlocked before it can a trusted profile installed.

  4. mpias3785 says:

    Instead of just reporting this stuff, 9to5Mac should actually, ya know, TEST it!

    Is it too much to ask a supposed news source to send them a locked iPhone and see if it can be done? Something like that would be worth reading.

    I’ll bet this pops up on a bunch of blogs today and tomorrow without a single attempt to verify the story.

    • pateljj04 says:

      It can be done if you enroll the devices into an MDM. See apple support kb – http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5927

      • No, enrolling an already locked device into an MDM won’t bypass activation lock… read the exact KB article you’re linking “If you deploy unsupervised devices, the previous user must turn off Find My iPhone before you deploy a device to a new user”

      • mpias3785 says:

        Yes, but only if a bypass code is entered when the activation lock is enabled. A typical user has neither the tools nor the knowledge to do this and a device can’t be enrolled in MDM after it’s been locked.

      • pateljj04 says:

        I am reading it as this service is for those that have wiped the device and can’t reactivate because its tied to an iCloud account with find my iPhone turned on. You can add a device to an MDM using serial number which if I read it correctly during activation will redirect the device to the mdm. Again not a 100% sure but assuming thats how it works. Not sure possibly this is a work around?

      • In that case you need to contact Apple and provide the serial number and proof of ownership. So again, use of an MDM will not allow you to bypass activation lock to “steal” an iPhone

  5. I actually might try this. My iPhone 5S is currently bricked because of an issue regarding my Apple ID being locked while having two-step verification enabled. I lost the recovery key, but my account was locked, so even knowing the right password prevents me from gaining access. If this is a legit service, then it would work in my case because my iPhone isn’t in lost mode — I never lost it. I’m still talking with Apple to see if I can find a potential solution, but if that falls through, I might consider doing this. It’s currently a cheaper option than buying a new one.

  6. rahhbriley says:

    Not sure the implications of being able to do this as a whole, but those doubting the authenticity…ChronicUnlocks is quite reputable. I and others I know have used their unlocking services to great results. Will Strafach (Chonic) is legit. His/their reputation has earned them trust on this, in my opinion. It’s still worth it to be cautious with $150 to spend and a device on the line, but I’d expect to see the early review be positive.

  7. b9bot says:

    Don’t buy from Craigslist is number 1. Most stolen property or damaged products are sold there because there is no recourse after your purchase. Sold as is, you are screwed! The Activation lock is to protect you from those very people that steal your phone and try and sell it on places like Craigslist. Anybody that needs this unlock service is probably not legitimately the owner of the device. Everyone else can get this taken care of through the Apple Store or Applecare.

    • Exactly. This ‘service’ is for thieves.

      • This will absolutely not work for a lost/stolen device. In the US, stolen devices is the most commonly known reason for iCloud Lock, but handsets that have iCloud Lock due to being lost/stolen cannot be fixed with this service. The service is primarily for devices that a user has acquired second hand and the buyer hadn’t removed their iCloud details from it, as that is not something that many people know that they need to do when selling a device. Additionally, in countries like Saudi Arabia or Yemen, handset owners have set and forgotten their iCloud password, and there is no Apple Stores in the country that they can take the device to (Even though they can almost always produce a purchase receipt / invoice).

      • rahhbriley says:

        Boom, you got a response from the man himself.

      • Not sure why but I couldn’t address this reply to Will so I’m replying to myself. If anyone but Apple can bypass the activation lock, that means the activation lock is useless. I’m betting Apple will be responding with an update that will make this ‘service’ moot.

      • Will. Your service is a scam and will be ineffective in weeks.

      • rwtd says:

        Will, you’re offering a service to profit from, so naturally you’re going to defend it. But I would bet a majority of those who have their iPhones stolen, or if they lose it, don’t know to put it in Lost Mode. I asked 10 different friends via iMessage what steps they should take if they laps their iPhone, and not one knew about Lost Mode, and only 3 knew about Find My iPhone. Just like you cheat the carriers by unlocking phones under contract, you’re doing the same by offering this service.

    • I usually sell my old iPhones on Craigslist, just gotta be clear with the buyer and maybe take time to sit with them and show them not only that is unlocked, but also that they can format and reuse the phone….specially when you are getting $600 in cash. Of cause when buying from a stranger you must really do your homework and make sure you can get everything activated while they are still with you.

    • kevicosuave says:

      Craigslist can be totally fine. I sell stuff on there all of the time. I post the ad with the serial number. We meet in a public place like Starbucks. I provide a copy of my purchase receipt along with showing the buyer my drivers license. I allow the buyer to test the device and then go through the process of activating it in their name.

  8. francoborgo says:

    I went to Apple to get my device changed because there of the problem with the power button. I gave it to them, they check it and saw the password for FindMyiPhone was there. He ask me to unlock it because they can’t do it…. Did any from 9to5 tried this service to see if it work.

  9. This article is incomplete, as regards Apple’s handling Activation Lock. The general rules for Find My iPhone (FMiP) are as follows:
    1. if you forget the Apple ID password and have a verified Rescue email, you can use iforgot.apple.com to reset it
    2. if you forget the Apple ID and/or password and don’t have a verified Rescue email, you can call AppleCare’s Account Security department and are usually able to help you (given that this is your Apple ID)
    3. if AppleCare cannot help you with the Apple ID, you can still send them the original receipt and they can have another department of Apple remove the Activation Lock within a few days
    4. if you buy an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch second-hand, which already has FMiP, it is natural for Apple to not unlock it, as there is no way for them to verify if it stolen or not (the original owner might not have known he has to put it in Lost Mode, or they might not have had time to do that)
    5. if it is in Lost Mode, no-one should unlock it, as it is the same as reporting it lost or stolen

    • @Alex You’ve stated things much more clearly and completely than the original
      article! It would be nice if Mr. Kahn could update the article a bit to clarify the points that you make here and address a few other good comments as well.

  10. To anyone even considering this service.
    Take the phone into an Apple Store with the original receipt OR go to expresslane.apple.com and submit a claim. I’ve seen the issue resolved in a half hour.

  11. ktappe says:

    “devices that are sold on the second hand market. Apple’s advice is to make sure the feature is switched off before purchasing it, but that doesn’t do much for users with used iPhones in hand and no way to contact the original owner.”

    If you have no way to contact the original owner, I would like to suggest that you should not shop the black/grey market. If the device is locked, you bought stolen property and deserve the brick you received.

  12. Nikol Clark says:

    This site guy’s what i’m about to show you helped me to Bypass Activation Lock on my iPhone 5S and i love them. On the site says that support all iPhone series but you should check, this is the site: http://www.bypassicloudlock.net

  13. What device is pictured as the lead photo in this article? With the ‘Activate Phone’ header in the display?.

  14. I think this is BS — people know to remove the lock before selling their phones. What’s really happening when someone buy’s an Apple ID locked phone is that they’re buying a stolen phone.

  15. Nikol Clark says:

    When i visited this site, I thought to myself this is just another waste of time, but i gave another try and it worked. This is it, download the tool and do it by your self for free >> /www.bypassicloudlock.net/

  16. Goce Mitev says:

    A friend of mine send mi a link from this site ” bypassicloudlockios7.net ” for Bypass Activation Lock IOS 7.1.2 and below on iPhone 5s, 5c, 5, 4s, 4 and iPad