As you might have heard, yesterday Apple removed its Activation Lock website which was a bit curious especially since it seemed like a pretty useful tool to check if an iOS device you were purchasing was stolen or not. Since Apple did not provide any explanation, it was unclear as to what was the cause of removal.
However according to a recent report from MacRumors, a possible reason might have been uncovered. It seems that it is possible that hackers might have used the Activation Lock in their hacking attempts. Basically what happens is that by changing the serial numbers of a device by a number of two, hackers can generate a valid serial number and use Activation Lock’s website to check that it is functional, which in turn can be used to unlock a previously locked iPhone or iPad.
In fact if you might recall, back in 2016 there was a series of incidents in which iOS users were discovering that they were suddenly locked out of their devices when attempting to activate a new or recently restored device. The issue has been fixed but it has since been speculated that the Activation Lock website’s verification tool might have played a role in causing it in the first place.
We’re not sure if Apple ever plans on bringing the website back or perhaps revive it in another way, but for now we guess there is no way of checking if that iPhone listed on eBay is the genuine article and not a stolen device.