Thursday, August 13, 2015

When Apple's AirDrop Lets In The Loonies

An Apple AirDrop setting issue has begun causing concern. In this case, a very nice woman received some very obscene pictures of a sexual nature from an abusive FlasherRat within Bluetooth or Wi-Fi range of her iPhone. It's preventable with a setting change.

Read and watch this BBC article for details in order to avoid these offending events on your own iOS devices. I suspect this issue is just breaking the surface. One of the BBC's accompanying videos demonstrates how to change iOS AirDrop settings.

Police investigate 'first cyber-flashing' case
By Sarah Bell
Victoria Derbyshire programme, BBC
Police are investigating a "new" crime of cyber-flashing after a commuter received an indecent image on her phone as she travelled to work. . . .

Supt Gill Murray said this particular crime was new to her force and urged people to report any other incidents. . . .

'Report it'

Ms. Crighton-Smith called the British Transport Police as she said she was worried about the motives of the perpetrator.

"What's the next stage from sending a naked photograph to a stranger, what happens next, was he getting any sort of gratification from it?" . . .

Airdrop is specific to iOS device and Apple Macs. It uses wi-fi and Bluetooth to talk over a short range to other devices, like other iPhones.

Its default setting is for "contacts only", which means only people you know can see you.

But if you want to share your information or your contacts with other people, you may make a change to the settings and change it to "everyone".

"This means that typically in a train carriage, or tube carriage, you can see other devices," commented Ken Munro, a cybersecurity consultant at Pentest Partners.

"That's what's happened in this particular case, someone has enabled everyone and then hasn't then set it back. As a result anyone within wi-fi or Bluetooth range can send something to you that's quite horrible...."

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