Security News Apple AirDrop cracked, revealing phone number and email address of sender

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Aug 17, 2017
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In a significant breach of Apple’s privacy measures, a new report says that AirDrop was cracked by the Chinese government, to reveal the phone number and email address of senders. The anonymity of AirDrop was one of the reasons it has been commonly used by activists to share information about protests, and other information censored by the government …

AirDrop is a proprietary encrypted communications tool developed by Apple and is only intended to share the name of your phone (which you can set to anything you like). Your Apple ID should not be disclosed, nor the contact information associated with it – namely, your phone number and email address.

This security has made it a safe way for anti-government activists to distribute information censored on the Internet. It was, for example, widely used in Hong Kong to pass on the dates, times, and locations of upcoming protests.

While the so-called Great Firewall of China blocks keywords, locations, and dates associated with protests when posted on the Internet, AirDrop is a short-range direct device-to-device protocol, meaning that there is no way for the government to block it.
 

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