Thursday, February 22, 2024

Apple AirDrop Hacked by China to Gain Access to Private Information

AirDrop was introduced in iOS 7, which allows Apple users to transmit files between iOS and macOS systems. Moreover, this does not require an internet connection or a phone book contact for the receiver to receive files. 

However, it has been reported that malicious actors have abused this feature to share illegal pictures, videos, audio, and other files in crowded places like subways, buses, or shopping malls. Due to its anonymity, it is difficult for law enforcement authorities to track these threat actors.

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Case Review

According to the reports, several people in the Beijing subway received video files with inappropriate remarks through unknown Air Drops. 

Case Review
Case Review (Source: Beijing Wangshendongjian)

Initial investigations revealed that due to its anonymity, the malicious actor utilized the AirDrop function to transfer these files to victims. However, one of the victim devices that received an unknown Airdrop was analyzed.

After several attempts, researchers found the logs for Airdrop and analyzed them further. The recorded information was found to contain the fields sender device name, mobile number, and email address, all of which were in a hash value.

Cracking the Hash

To crack the hash values, the researchers created a rainbow table with mobile numbers and email accounts to convert the hash value into original text. 

Evidence collection and Traceability  
Evidence collection and Traceability (Source: Beijing Wangshendongjian) 

Eventually, the hash values were cracked, revealing the threat actors’ mobile phone numbers and email accounts. This information was quickly shared with the law enforcement authorities, who used it to track down several suspects involved in this case.

It is recommended that people turn off their AirDrop receiving when not in use, which will prevent these kinds of activities from threatening actors.

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Eswar is a Cyber security content editor with a passion for creating captivating and informative content. With years of experience under his belt in Cyber Security, he is covering Cyber Security News, technology and other news.

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