A woman in China handed over her iPhone to her kid and got an unwelcome surprise when she got the phone back. According to reports, when the woman took her phone back, it was disabled for almost 25 million seconds, which is equal to 47 years, due to a huge number of incorrect PIN attempts. The woman was left with only two options, either to wait for the timer to end or to wipe her phone.
Chinese toddler in Shanghai ‘disables iPhone for 47 years’ https://t.co/7BX0zGptg5
— SCMP News (@SCMP_News) March 6, 2018
These lockouts are a built-in feature in iOS. They are designed to prevent people from breaking into the phone using a software or machinery which can brute force a four-digit pin. Apple’s documentation states that a device becomes disabled after six concurrent incorrect PIN attempts. Users can enable a feature which will delete the phone’s data after 10 incorrect attempts. In this case, here the woman’s phone was locked for 47 years, the child had probably tried more than 10 incorrect PINs. He disabled the phone after 10 attempts and added more time to the timer with each attempt after that.
Apple told that an incident of this sort is rare but it is possible that it happens. When the woman reached an Apple store she was also told to either wait for the timer to end or to wipe her phone. This might actually be a very tough choice but security they are providing is also the best and there is no back door as well.