Apple is regarded as the most privacy-centric brand out there in the industry. Its iOS operating system has long been considered the most secure OS. But recently, a group of computer science researchers from the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany have claimed that, other nearby devices can access your phone number, email address as well as personal info when you want to share files through Airdrop. This statement immediately raised questions over Apple’s long-standing ethics of user privacy and data security. Also, with the security of Apple’s file-sharing medium “Airdrop”. In this article we will discuss what exactly is Airdrop, its use cases, and also find out is Airdrop really insecure as concluded by the researchers of Technical University of Darmstadt.
What is Airdrop?
Apple’s devices and its OS are practically inseparable. The manufacturer avoids any third-party service as much as it can. In 2011, Apple introduced a new secure way to share files and data between its iOS ecosystem named Airdrop. It is a cross-platform technology introduced by Apple for quick and secure file sharing between its phones, tablets, and computers. The feature allows anyone with an Apple device to send photos videos or files to another Apple device.
How does it work?
Airdrop combines the two file-sharing technologies to enhance the transfer. It uses BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and Wifi Direct (P2P) to share files between all iOS devices. Upon turning on Airdrop, the device looks for the target using Bluetooth. After that, it creates a wireless network connection that allows the two devices to exchange files. The best part is that, it doesn’t require internet or a local Wi-Fi network. It is accessible anytime anywhere as long as devices are close to you. The use of BLE eradicates the use of bandwidth, making the size of the file that you are sharing irrelevant. You can send large files speedily, depending on the capacity of the recipient’s hardware.
Thankfully, the researchers informed about the Airdrop voluntarily and Apple made it more secure. Now, Airdrop is pretty secure as compared to earlier times. Experts claim that, it is almost twice as secure as Bluetooth. To enhance security you can always Keep AirDrop Off when not in use. Likewise, use contact-only mode and keep your device up to date.