Hack an iPhone 8 using Terminal?

Is it possible to use Terminal, on a Mac, to get into a locked iPhone 8?

So, my son found an iPhone 8 on the road a couple days ago. Screen was broken beyond repair, but otherwise it was intact (it had a beat-up case on it). He bought a screen from Ebay and I helped him replace the old one, and now it works. Only problems is, it's locked.

I found a bunch of methods on the Internet for wiping an iPhone 8, most of which require the password. However, a couple of Youtube videos showed how to use the Emergency Call function to enter a bunch of gibberish and somehow cause the phone to self-wipe.

We tried that, but it didn't work either (he spent half an hour typing asterisks into it), so now we're stuck. But I had an idea, if I can hack into it somehow using Terminal, maybe that would work? I was also going to try buying a SIM card and see if that would help.

If anyone knows how to use Terminal, or any other way that works, feel free to comment here or shoot me a PM!

@agent max,
Are you sure what you are doing is legal? The fact that somebody has lost their 'phone doesn't make it legal to appropriate it. If somebody reported it stolen then you and your son could be in a whole lot of trouble.

Imagine it was your 'phone that you dropped. Somebody found it in the street. What would you like them to do? Now substitute the word "wallet" for "iPhone" and ask the same question.

I would hand it in - broken or not.
Ask the FBI, they know how to crack iPhones and could help you your friend your son out.
There's no need to hack the phone. You can easily factory reset the phone without the passcode as long as you have iTunes on your computer. Here's like the first tutorial I found with a simple Google search:


I've done it myself a million times, usually when a family member forgets their password. You put the phone into recovery mode, iTunes will pick up on this, and then you can reset the phone.

EDIT: When I last found an iphone on the ground, I used siri and said, "call mom". You don't need the password to make a call this way. From there, I was in touch with the mother of the owner and was able to bring it back to the owner. You can try that too if the phone isn't on lockdown after trying passcodes too many times.
Last edited on
Only problems is, it's locked.

Thieves always think that at the front door or window of a house they are about to break into and steal someone else's property.
It's not surprising that a lowlife father would aid and abet one of their children to start them off on a life of crime. Another manifestation of criminal psychopathy to add to the rabbit ring's lack of respect.
Absolutely. That was my first instinct too. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a SIM card so I have no way to find the owner. Even if I was to spend the $30 on a prepaid one, I don't know how I'd contact them.

I did ask a friend of mine to see if he could help, and he said that he read somewhere that the FBI was trying to get into someone's phone to get their personal data, and they couldn't.

Damn! I did see that one, but I didn't try it, partly because I was tired of watching Youtube videos that didn't work. But I'll give it a shot and see how it goes!
he said that he read somewhere that the FBI was trying to get into someone's phone to get their personal data, and they couldn't.

Not true. Apple wouldn't do it for them, but some other company did. I believe they used a hardware-based method. But they were trying to get into it without erasing it. If you use the "reset" technique with iTunes, it erases the data.

Last edited on
agent max wrote:
ask[ed] a friend...he said that he read somewhere that the FBI was trying to get into someone's phone to get their personal data, and they couldn't.

Consider the info your friend read could be disinformation, the FBI (or NSA, etc.) has more capabilities than they want to reveal.

If'n I had found a device on the road I'm more than likely to have just left it. Are the potential legal/ethical issues worth it? Not for me. YMMV.

I prefer non-smart cell phones and non-Apple tablets. My cell usage is definitely not what most people do with the things.

Buying a device new might be more expensive, but having a warranty makes a difference for me.
A broken screen and no SIM card would leave room to interpret the phone as being discarded. I doubt the owner is looking for it.
...leave room to interpret...

Not something I care to do.

What others would do is not my concern.
Ah, I think I see. All my son wants to do is erase it so he can use it when he goes off to college this fall. I'm going to try the iTunes method when he gets home from school and see if it works.

@Furry Guy,
Agreed. I can't work a touchscreen, maybe because I worked as an electrician for many years and my fingers got electrified or something, I don't know. I like my Nokia E90, because it has a built-in keyboard (and who doesn't want to look like Val Kilmer from The Saint?), so it's basically like a mini laptop.

Yeah, I don't think the original owner wanted, it, for those two reasons, and the case on it was torn and really beat-up. Also, the screen was much too damaged for an asphalt road. It had to have been abused a lot, or something.

*or something...*
I don't think the original owner wanted, it
Unless that is verified with the owner then we are still seeing theft in action. Yet another reason for a no-soup-destiny.

I can't work a touchscreen
That's not a surprise when not being able to write even a few lines of C++ is the norm.

All my son wants ...
... is a free stolen phone.
So much for parental guidance on basic morality and responsibility to hand it in especially when most, if not all, phones have a registration number burned into them.
If it's handed in to the appropriate authority and unclaimed for a certain period then ownership is legally transferred to the finder, instead of the finder being found as a thief.
The phone was probably already reported as stolen before being found by the next criminals in line so freshman agent is straight away a suspect whether its got a cracked or a new screen. Nice way to start college going down the same track as @Zaphe_the_unemployable.

Many thanks to @helios for his MoronSilencer.js script!

Topic archived. No new replies allowed.