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Apple’s AirDrop is one of the most popular and fastest file transfer features that enables iOS, iPadOS, and macOS users to seamlessly transfer files and data between devices. Now, according to a recent report, a significant security flaw in the AirDrop system could potentially expose the user’s private information to a stranger in your Wi-Fi range.
AirDrop security flaw
Discovered by security researchers at the German University’s Technische Universitat Darmstadt, the vulnerability is quite dangerous for Apple users. Researchers first raised the issue with Apple in 2019. However, recent reports from researchers claim that the Cupertino giant has yet to address the issue, despite the fact that more than 1.5 billion Apple users are affected by he.
As for the vulnerability, it resides in Apple’s proprietary AirDrop system and has the potential to expose a user’s phone number and email address to a stranger in Wi-Fi range. And what makes the flaw even more dangerous is that the user doesn’t even need to initiate a file transfer for a stranger to gain access to their private information. It is activated as soon as a user turns on the AirDrop functionality on their iPhone or any AirDrop compatible device.
The researchers claim that the vulnerability is the result of using hashing functions for the function. Additionally, to gain access to the sensitive information of an Apple user using the AirDrop vulnerability, all an attacker needs is a Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device and proximity to the victim’s device’s Wi-Fi range.
How to avoid it?
Now, according to the researchers, there is no workaround to this security flaw as of now. If users want to avoid it, the only way to do so is to not use Apple’s file-sharing feature until the company releases a solution.
So if you are an Apple user and you don’t want any stranger to check your phone number and access your personal data, you can use some of the AirDrop alternatives. Also, you can use services like SHAREit or its alternatives to quickly transfer files between devices.
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