OS X Lion Persuades Thieves into Revealing their Location

Apple has made a subtle change to the way “Find My Mac” functions on OS X 10.7. When you activate the remote recovery service, Lion restricts the operating system to a limited browser-only recovery mode. (A “Restart into Safari” option is also available on the login screen, which accomplishes the same thing). The feature is not so much a “ChromeOS competitor” as a thief honeypot. If Safari is the only application that can be accessed, there is a much higher chance that the thief will reveal their location by connecting to a WiFi network (allowing the lost device to phone-home to Apple). Additionally, the intruder will not be able to weasel their way into personal files or applications since this browser-only mode is buried in a recovery partition.

There isn’t much a user can do to prevent his hard drive from being removed or wiped, but the security-minded will appreciate Apple’s clever change. Of course, if the administrator account (or to a lesser extent, other users) are not password protected, then you’re out of luck.

If you are desperate to clean your machine, Find My Mac also offers a “Remote Wipe” option in addition to a sound alarm and customizable pop up warning message.

Lion will be available in July through the Mac App Store.


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