A few days ago we told you how Apple had removed Activation Lock checking page which was used to check the possible lock of second hand devices. It was a feature that the world missed because this website was fundamental to avoid deceptions when buying second hand iPhone or iPad. It allowed checking if they were blocked and thus avoiding giving us a very expensive paperweight.
Although there is no official confirmation, today we may know the reason for the disappearance of that website: the Activation Lock system website was been tried by hackers as a gateway for potential security breach.
We all know (or at least should know) that if we activate the “Search for my iPhone” option on a device, that means that it will be associated with our Apple account and nobody can use it without first entering our iCloud key, even if I restore it from scratch .
This security system that seeks to prevent theft, became a serious problem for the second-hand market, because many buyers found that when trying to activate their iPhone or iPad, it could not be associated with the account of the previous seller, or worse, because they were stolen.
However we have all seen how many websites promised to eliminate this Activation Block, and it seems that some really worked as you can see in the video below. The procedure was not simple, but we can summarize it and in that we could change the serial number of the device in question, and thus eliminate that blockage. Apple testing website was a fundamental step for this procedure, and for this same reason Apple has decided to close it.
In addition this problem may have also been the cause of another error that many users were complaining lately, and that is when they activated their second-hand iPhone it showed associated with another account, when it really was their iPhone. If the serial number chosen by the hackers coincided with that of a legitimate user, they could block it.
At present the company has not given any official statement, but soon Apple may re-operate the activation checking website to prevent the second-hand market from suffering the consequences.