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I have problem with iCloud backup on my iPhone. After several calls to the Russian department of Apple support they suggest me to change my AppleID password temporarily to an test password proposed by the support specialist to see what's going on with my account. Also they say that they get access to all my data stored on phone: messages, photo, apps data etc, and I should agree with this terms.

Of course they say usually engineers don't read/watch users data, but I think it's weird to grant access to all my data.

Should I trust them and share my pretty photos, banking apps and personal chats? I'm pretty sure I have talked with the official Apple support, not scammers.

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48  
You have most likely NOT talked to official support, and if you have, they should be reported. – StrongBad Jan 19 at 1:05
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You have a scam. I have contacted official Apple support and they are able to access your account with your Apple ID and associated name. – jrw42 Jan 19 at 19:29
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It would be interesting to know how you were put in touch with this support department. Where did you find the contact information? – Josh Caswell Jan 19 at 19:32
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I'm sure it was official Apple support. I get number from support page of Apple.com – Oleg Bizin Jan 20 at 3:59
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Fwiw, I've routinely been asked to give an account with password when I've dropped boxes off at the Genius Bar is in the US, and I've even had them ask once when they didn't keep the box (so they debugged, ordered a logic board, and then asked me for a login and password. Assumedly it was for testing if I dropped it off later for the fix, but wow. Bizarre). That said, it shouldn't be required, and you should always feel free to say no. At worst, you're just going to have to type it in yourself as they watch over the shared screen (or literal shoulder). – ruffin Jan 20 at 4:03
up vote 89 down vote accepted

In a word, NO. No-one reputable will EVER ask for your password, EVER. Proper support have the tools and such in place to allow them the access they need to do what they need. If they have to actually login as you (Which clearly they can only do from a different device anyway, limiting any usefulness it may even have) then surely there is nothing they need to do that for which they can't simply ask you to replicate for them without handing over credentials. I smell a rat.

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8  
Can't Apple ask you to create a support PIN by logging into the Apple ID site? – iProgram Jan 18 at 22:12
    
I smell a troll, this question is so beggingly ridiculously naive, i have a hard time believing it to be authentic. in anycase, your answer is valid. – n00b Jan 20 at 22:07
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@n00b 4 years of customer support tells me otherwise. You should read some tech support stories to get a feel of just how... uh, interesting customer requests are. – Nelson Jan 21 at 2:59
    
If you go to Hk Apple Store for service they always ask. I always say go ahead and format it if you need since I have backup but I can't provide password. – KD. Jan 21 at 17:51
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I'm not a troll. I am good in IT, furthermore I am iOS developer :) Of course I am surprised when such corporation like Apple ask me to provide my personal info/change password. It's strange. That's why I ask this question. Maybe there's some misunderstanding with Apple support and me, but they really told me login to my Apple ID and change password to temporary one to enable troubleshooting mode or something like that. – Oleg Bizin Jan 22 at 19:55

I used to work for Apple support, both iPhone and Mac, both first and second level ("Senior Advisor" to the outside world).

Without knowing all the details, here's my reaction:

  1. Support operations that Apple runs in other countries than the United States can rarely have some different support procedures, but this one sounds too far out of bounds. Keep in mind that some Apple support centers are actually third party call centers on contract, I have worked at one of those as well, they are not as trustworthy as Apple employees. Not to over generalize but they have less to lose and poor working conditions.

  2. As a first-level support person, we never knew customer passwords and I was frustrated when people told me their passwords, I would stop them mid-way through and tell them I don't want to know.

  3. There is a process if you get deep into a problem with a senior advisor, where they setup a test account for you. Keyword, they set it up for you, they should never ask you to create a second account yourself or ask for your password to your account.

Now if you are dealing with a true Senior Advisor at Apple they are supposed to give you their contact info and the shift they work, so in theory you should be able to verify this.

Having said that, if they asked you to change your password on your account, it was a verifiable hack attempt.

And as a newb, I can't comment on other answers, but in response to the one comment, everyone can generate a support PIN when they log into appleid.apple.com and I hate the new interface there.

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"If it existed it would be for Russians to call.". Now look at the user's name. – pipe Jan 19 at 19:34
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Ooh good point haha I'll delete that part thanks – JimLohse Jan 19 at 19:39
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Great first answer - Welcome to Ask Different! – Tetsujin Jan 19 at 20:11

I've dealt with deep-rooted issues on my iCloud account, and I have been asked by Senior Advisors (in the US) for permission to put my account into Troubleshooting mode, which requires that they provide you with a temporary password so they can access your account and see what's going on with it.

Talking with various Senior Advisors over the course of a few weeks that my account was in Troubleshooting mode, everyone knew what I was referring to, including the Corporate Executive Relations Office. This is definitely not a scam, although you are were right to be suspicious. This is a step you should only accept if you are comfortable with granting Apple Support full access to your iCloud account. This is normally a last resort for Apple Support.

If you have two-step or two-factor authentication on your account, an Apple Diagnostics device should appear in the list of Trusted Devices shortly thereafter.

Point of interest: the second or third time I've had to have my account put into Troubleshooting mode, I asked if I could simply hand them my password (it was already a temporary password, but due to a screwup on their part, my account was out of Troubleshooting mode). The Senior Advisor declined, citing policy that they must provide a randomly-generated password and could not accept a password from a customer. This is a very important point, because I get the impression from the reactions/answers that people think the support technician is asking @Oleg for his password. That is NOT the case.

I feel I should also add that yes, I am 100% certain I was talking to Apple employees the entire time. I contacted them through the Apple Support site, they called me back from the same Apple number every time, which I have saved in my Contacts, and every technician I was in touch with emailed me from an @apple.com address, to which I was able to send emails and get responses from (so that takes care of spoofed headers). They're able to Screen Share just by knowing your Apple ID but not your IP address, then ask you to upload diagnostics data to green header address ending in apple.com. It would take a very high degree of sophistication to pull off a scam of this magnitude (not to mention, if all they cared about was accessing your iCloud account, they could just stop once they got your password instead of spending hours upon hours going through troubleshooting steps that don't get them any additional data about you).

And obviously, when you get a response from the Corporate Executive Relations Office after emailing Tim Cook directly, you're pretty confident it's an Apple employee talking to you (the response includes your original email). If that person acknowledges that your account is in Troubleshooting mode and understands that you would like to get it out of it, then you're also pretty confident that Troubleshooting mode is a real thing.

I am in no way defending Apple's tech support procedures, just saying that yes, when all else fails, the company does ask to set a temporary password on your account. This allows the engineers to go in and troubleshoot themselves. This is definitely a legitimate scenario.

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It's very close to my situation. – Oleg Bizin Jan 20 at 4:35
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@OlegBizin: The key difference being that if they really are Apple support people, they can change your account because they have special access to the servers. Scammers don't, and thus can only get access if you make the change. Letting them make the change, and then seeing your account info change, would confirm that you were actually talking to Apple support. (Or to some extremely helpful people who have already cracked Apple's servers on their own, and are now doing tech support.) – Peter Cordes Jan 21 at 8:56
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Apple being able to just change your account willy-nilly would be a million times worse. Apple Support has very limited access to your account, as it should be. – Phong Jan 21 at 16:32
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@PeterCordes as a support person I most certainly was NOT able to change customer accounts!!! Yes engineering can do things like this but unless your name is Rush Limbaugh or Lady Gaga you are not going to deal directly with engineers from Apple :) As a support person I had a few tools to help customers reset their own passwords once they properly identified themselves, but that was it. – JimLohse Feb 26 at 14:54
    
@JimLohse: Thanks for the clarification, that makes sense. There are too many support people to give them all that amount of trust/responsibility. Still, was there some kind of inside access, or did you really just tell people what to change their password to? I would hope there would be some kind of procedure that wouldn't let a scammer in, only an actual Apple tech. e.g. some temporary switch on an account to put it into "support people have access", which wouldn't compromise your account if you checked it and the person on the phone wasn't from Apple. – Peter Cordes Feb 26 at 21:59

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