Apple Watch Makes Apple Pay Vulnerable to Theft

Apple Watch Makes Apple Pay Vulnerable to Theft

May 27, 2015         Written By Bill Hardekopf

The newly released Apple Watch makes using the digital wallet Apple Pay extremely convenient, but a new tutorial from Gadget Hacks reveals the vulnerability of Apple Watch for fast-handed thieves.

Apple Watch is designed to lock down the screen if the watch leaves the user’s wrist for more than a second. If stolen, a thief would have to know the users passcode to get into the smartwatch and use the Apple Pay account linked to the device. Many consider the Apple Watch to be hack-proof, but as the video shows, all it takes is a set of fast fingers to trick the device into thinking it is still on someone’s wrist.

In the video, Nelson Aguilar and Neil Gonzalez put their fingers behind the watch as they take it off one another’s wrist to show that the watch can be stolen without prompting the lock screen. The pair illustrated just how problematic this could be by using the “stolen” Apple Watch to make a purchase at Walgreens. The lock screen never appeared.

When confronted about this security issue, a spokesperson from Apple told Tom’s Guide that users can block credit card and debit card payments on their Apple Watches through the settings in their iCloud account.

It would take a lot of practice and a very specific set of skills to effectively steal an Apple Watch and then use the Apple Pay account on it. Nevertheless, there is now evidence of the potential vulnerability of wearable devices and mobile wallets.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of May 27, 2015. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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