Hi-tech thieves who steal iPhones in Brazil break into bank accounts of people!

Criminals in Brazil are trying to break into people’s bank accounts by stealing iPhones. According to a report published last month, criminals in Brazil were committing such crimes not to steal and sell iPhone handsets, but to access people’s bank account details and then steal their money.

These criminals are not being told to be ordinary. They were able to steal money from people’s accounts within hours of robbing their iPhone devices. Such cases have seen a high rise especially after the onset of the ongoing corona virus pandemic. Now another news report, originally published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, says that the police understood how the thieves were able to access people’s bank details through their Apple devices.

The Sao Paulo police have arrested a gang that carried out the robberies related to these smartphones. One member even admitted that he can “unlock all iPhone handsets 5 to 11”. Sao Paulo Police Chief Fabiano Barbeiro says the only device the thieves needed to steal the money was an iPhone SIM card.

A report by 9to5Mac explained the modus operandi of these criminals. According to this, thieves used to take the SIM card from the stolen iPhone and put it in another phone. They then accessed the owner’s social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram to find the email ID used. As it turns out, the same email would have been used for the Apple ID in most cases. In the end they reset the Apple ID password using the victim’s phone number.

After that everything became easy. Barbeiro says now all criminals had to do was look up the Notes app to find the password because many users store bank and credit card passwords there. Also once criminals have access to iCloud account they can retrieve all passwords from iCloud Keychain as well.

A 22-year-old suspect, who is a computer technician, told police he knew at least three other people who had instructed criminals interested in obtaining passwords from a stolen smartphone. The police have so far arrested 12 people and identified 28 others in the smartphone theft case.

Following the publication of the previous report, Apple reportedly promised Folha de S.Paulo that they would make it easier for users to delete all data from a stolen iPhone. With iOS 15 users will finally be able to track a powered-off iPhone using the Find My App.

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