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State, federal governments testing Apple's anti-theft tech


With smartphone thefts ever on the rise, Apple introduced a new feature in iOS 7 called "Activation Lock" which prevents thieves from turning off the "Find my iPhone" feature without first entering a user's iCloud credentials. As an added security layer, iOS 7 also prevents thieves from wiping a device without first providing a user's Apple ID and password.

The goal, of course, is to make iPhones a less appealing target for criminals.

In the wake of iOS 7 unveiling, top prosecutors in San Francisco and New York expressed cautious optimism that Apple's new "Activation Lock" security feature might serve as an effective crime deterrent.

Now CNET is reporting that both state and federal government agencies began testing the feature this week.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office released a statement on the testing initiative on Thursday. It reads in part:

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that the Secure Our Smartphone (S.O.S) Initiative is bringing state and federal security experts together to test the new smartphone security features recently introduced by Apple and Samsung. During a meeting today in San Francisco, technical experts – including representatives from the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) – will be given an Apple iPhone 5 with a new anti-theft security feature known as "Activation Lock" enabled and a Samsung Galaxy s4 with a new anti-theft security feature known as "Lojack for Android" enabled. The smartphones will be treated as if they were stolen by thieves, and attempts will be made to circumvent the anti-theft features.

A spokesperson told CNET that results of the testing will be released by Friday.

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