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Use a longer alphanumeric passcode on the iPhone iOS devices
A lot of people don't know that Apple provides a free iPhone configuration utility, but they do, and it can add some great features you can't get any other way. The simplest use of the program is to enable complex passcodes on the iphone. I know some people don't want to have to type in a long password to get into their iPhone, but I'm a bit paranoid -- so protecting all of my email accounts, contacts, etc. with an annoyingly-long and complex password seems worth it to me. Here is how you do it:
  1. Install and launch the iPhone Configuration Utility.
  2. Click on Configuration Profiles in the Library menu on the left.
  3. Click the New+ button along the top of the window, and on the General tab, fill out the info (Name, Identifier, etc.); there is no need to digitally sign it.
  4. Next Click on the Passcode tab, and check Require Passcode on Device. Check the various options/restrictions you want to enable.
  5. When you are all done, click the Share button at the top of the window. An email will open with a configuration profile attached (see sample below). Send the email to your iPhone.
  6. Open Mail on your iPhone, and open the message with the configuration profile attached. Click on the profile attachment, and then follow the on-screen prompts to install the profile and set your new long passcode.
That's it! As a side note, I use the profiles to setup my email accounts, too. So if I have to restore my iPhone and set it up as a new phone, I can more quickly set up email.

Below is a sample of the XML generated by the utility. It enforces a minimum six-long alphanumeric passcode. If you save it to a plain text file with the extension .mobileconfig, and email the file to your iPhone, it should enable this passcode feature. Apple documents the DTD in their Enterprise Deployment Guide.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
    <key>PayloadContent</key>
    <array>
        <dict>
            <key>PayloadDescription</key>
            <string>Configures security-related items.</string>
            <key>PayloadDisplayName</key>
            <string>Passcode Policy</string>
            <key>PayloadIdentifier</key>
            <string>com.wnec.profile.longpasscode.passcodepolicy</string>
            <key>PayloadOrganization</key>
            <string>Western New England College</string>
            <key>PayloadType</key>
            <string>com.apple.mobiledevice.passwordpolicy</string>
            <key>PayloadUUID</key>
            <string>34CC28B9-B4D7-4545-9E95-9A104B8FD511</string>
            <key>PayloadVersion</key>
            <integer>1</integer>
            <key>allowSimple</key>
            <true/>
            <key>forcePIN</key>
            <true/>
            <key>minComplexChars</key>
            <real>0.0</real>
            <key>minLength</key>
            <real>6</real>
            <key>requireAlphanumeric</key>
            <true/>
        </dict>
    </array>
    <key>PayloadDescription</key>
    <string>Allows a long passcode</string>
    <key>PayloadDisplayName</key>
    <string>Long Passcode Experiment</string>
    <key>PayloadIdentifier</key>
    <string>com.wnec.profile.longpasscode</string>
    <key>PayloadOrganization</key>
    <string>Western New England College</string>
    <key>PayloadType</key>
    <string>Configuration</string>
    <key>PayloadUUID</key>
    <string>E2983614-5607-46C4-B9DB-4B8832F63C6A</string>
    <key>PayloadVersion</key>
    <integer>1</integer>
</dict>
</plist>
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Use a longer alphanumeric passcode on the iPhone | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Some other versions of the utility
Authored by: amutti on Sep 02, '08 07:49:35AM

In addition to the OS X-Only native application, there are web versions available, one of which works on windows. Here are the links:

Windows:
http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/iphoneconfigurationwebutility10forwindows.html

Mac:
http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/iphoneconfigurationwebutility10formac.html

For more information on the enterprise tools visit http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/enterprise/



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use a longer alphanumeric passcode on the iPhone
Authored by: mcmikemn on Sep 02, '08 08:08:43AM

Does this longer alphanumeric iPhone passcode replace the 4-digit numeric passcode that is the default security measure on the iPhone?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use a longer alphanumeric passcode on the iPhone
Authored by: amutti on Sep 02, '08 08:47:04AM

It replaces the 4 digit passcode. Here is a picture taken with my iSight camera:

Passcode Screen on iPhone with Alpha Numeric Code

[ Reply to This | # ]
Use a longer alphanumeric passcode on the iPhone
Authored by: mcmikemn on Sep 02, '08 01:33:02PM

Thanks for clarifying and for the pic. The is a cool tip.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use a longer alphanumeric passcode on the iPhone
Authored by: amutti on Sep 02, '08 08:52:22AM

This DOESN'T FIX the much reported passcode vulnerability. If double clicking your home button brings up your favorites, you will still be vulnerable. Change that functionality to ipod or home in settings for a temporary fix.

http://www.tuaw.com/2008/08/27/iphone-2-0-2-security-flaw-makes-private-data-accessible/

[ Reply to This | # ]
Use a longer alphanumeric passcode on the iPhone
Authored by: mcmikemn on Sep 02, '08 01:30:53PM

That's not what I was asking, but it's good information to know. Thanks.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use a longer alphanumeric passcode on the iPhone
Authored by: nesss01 on Sep 03, '08 06:16:17PM

What happens when different profiles conflict?

To get access to the corporate exchange server I had to install 2 signed profiles/certificates that increased my passcode length to 8 digits, made the time interval 15 minutes and made this all mandatory.

Can i install another profile that will change this and still keep access to my corporate email?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Steps to remove the long passcode
Authored by: amutti on Sep 05, '08 07:22:29AM

I've replied to 3 or 4 emails so I figured I'd post the "fix" as a comment to the hint.

To undo the long passcode follow these instructions:

  1. Open the "Settings" application.
  2. Tap the "General" option.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the General screen and tap "Profiles."
  4. On the Profiles screen tap the profile you wish to remove (in this case the one setting the long alphanumeric passcode).
  5. When the profile info is displayed, tap the "Remove" button.
  6. Confirm that you want to remove the profile -- tap the "Remove" button.
  7. Type in your long passcode when prompted.
  8. When the profile has been removed you will be left on the Profiles screen.
  9. Tap the general arrow in the upper left.
  10. Scroll up to the "Passcode Lock" option on the General screen and tap it.
  11. On the Passcode Lock screen tap "Turn Passcode Off."
  12. Type in your long passcode.
  13. Tap the "OK" button in the upper right.
  14. When complete you will be on the General screen.
  15. The long passcode has been removed, if you wish to enable the original short numeric passcode continue with steps 16 - 18.
  16. Tap the "Passcode Lock" option.
  17. You will be prompted to enter a simple 4-digit passcode.
  18. Done.


[ Reply to This | # ]