Unknown Macs show up in Find My iPhone for some users

Apple Maps in Find My IPhone iCoud.com

Some iCloud users are finding that unknown or old Macs are showing up in the Find My iPhone web app, according to reports on Twitter. In some cases, users have the ability to remotely lock and erase computers they don’t own, which makes it a pretty serious issue.

“The exact nature of the problem is difficult to pin down, but a person aware of the issue says that this is likely related to users not properly erasing their Macs before transferring them to someone else,” 9to5Mac reports.

Part of the problem is that wiping a Mac and performing a clean install of OS X may not remove Find My Mac data. According to software engineer Jon Schwenn, some of it is stored in a Mac’s NVRAM, which has to be cleared separately — and very few people would think to do that.

However, not everyone who is seeing this issue has sold an old Mac. Others are able to track machines completely at random, while some say that are able to locate a friend’s machine for no apparent reason — even though they’ve never used it.

“Who is Jary and why is his Mac appearing in Find My iPhone?” writes Robin on Twitter. “Find my iPhone on icloud.com  shows me a MacBook named “Triple” that is not mine,” adds John Siracusa. “Not reassuring.”

The good news is, the issue doesn’t appear to be widespread, but even so, it could be very serious. While we hope that most people who notice unrecognized machines will simply leave them alone, others may be tempted to try and wipe them just because people can be mean.

Hopefully, Apple will address this sooner rather than later, then.

A similar issue that affected iCloud earlier this year allowed developers to see apps and login names belonging to others users in the iTunes Connect portal, while another saw iCloud emails delivered to the wrong addresses.

[via 9to5Mac]