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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Apple AirTag can be hacked to dupe strangers but the process is complex

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No other tech company is as focused on offering high standards of privacy as Apple. With the recent kick-in-the-stomach move on Facebook’s ad model, you might assume that Apple products are built to the highest standards of security and thereby, are un-hackable. A German security researcher has proven otherwise as he managed to hack the AirTag – Apple’s latest product to help people track their belongings. Also Read – Flipkart Flagship Fest sale: iQOO 3, Moto Razr, iPhone 11 and other deals to consider

The AirTag is Apple’s alternative to the Tile tracker and promises vastly superior tech to help Apple users tag their belongings. However, German security researcher “Stack Smashing” has figured a way to tap into the AirTag’s computer and lead people to other websites. With a flashed AirTag, an Android or iPhone users can be made to got to a different website other than Apple’s site once it is tapped. Also Read – Apple to launch new colourful MacBook, inspired by new iMac, iPhone 12

Apple AirTag hacked

In the video, the researcher shows a hacked AirTag leading the iPhone to a different website other than “found.apple.com”. While it sounds worrying, the researcher had to manually gain access to the AirTag’s microprocessor with wires, as shown in the picture. As of now, there’s no known hack to flash an AirTag wirelessly. Also Read – Only 12% of iOS users globally allow for app tracking post iOS 14.5 update

Apple AirTag

The hack can possibly lead to several people landing in trouble. Hackers might throw around hacked AirTag trackers around the town, destined to lead people to malicious sites. Apple is yet to comment on this and could possibly work on an update to fix it soon.

The AirTag is currently the most affordable Apple product and a viable alternative to Tile trackers. Instead of solely relying on Bluetooth and NFC, the AirTag uses a UWB chip to help supported iPhones pinpoint the location accurately. An AirTag can last up to a year on its usual wristwatch batteries.

The AirTag integrates into the “Find My” network, which means Apple users can simply locate their “AirTag-ged” belongings on the map. A lost AirTag tries to send signals via nearby iPhones or iPads to locate itself on the map. Once the user is nearby to the location, the AirTag uses its UWB chip to bring the owner closer to itself.

Do note that the UWB- equipped Precision Finding feature is only supported on modern iPhones, which include the iPhone 11 series and iPhone 12 series. Older iPhone models can find it via Bluetooth tracking

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