April 17, 2024
China Says It Has Cracked Apple AirDrop

China Says It Has Cracked Apple AirDrop

Posted January 9, 2024 at 4:45pm by iClarified
A Chinese government forensic institute says it has successfully cracked Apple's AirDrop feature in order to identify anonymous senders.

In a post on the Beijing Municipal Justice Bureau Office website, the agency reports that efforts to crack AirDrop's security were initiated after some people received 'inappropriate' video on the Beijing subway via AirDrop.

Forensic experts purportedly used a 'rainbow table' to crack hashed values of the sender's device name, email address, and mobile phone number.


Here's a machine translated version of the report...

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Forensic technical experts from the Beijing Wangshendongjian Forensic Appraisal Institute analyzed the iPhone device logs in depth, clarified the transmission principle, and found records related to AirDrop. After inspection, it was found that the fields related to the sender's device name, email address, and mobile phone number were recorded in the form of hash values, and some fields related to the hash value were hidden. In order to quickly crack this field, the technical team created a detailed "rainbow table" of mobile phone numbers and email accounts, which can convert the cipher text into original text and quickly lock the sender's mobile phone number and email account.

By digging deep for clues from the victim's iPhone and analyzing it layer by layer, the Beijing Wangshendongjian Forensic Appraisal Institute finally issued a legally binding forensic opinion. A detailed analysis of the relevant equipment at the receiving end and the sending end effectively helped the police identify multiple suspects involved in the case.

The Beijing Wangshendongjian Judicial Appraisal Institute's forensic appraisal of the case of improper information disseminated through "airdrop" on mobile phones broke through the technical difficulties of anonymous traceability through AirDrop, improved the efficiency and accuracy of case detection, and prevented the further spread of inappropriate remarks and potential bad influence.
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Notably, AirDrop has been used by protestors in China to share files and get around government censors. With the release of iOS 16.1.1, Apple limited the 'Everyone' setting for AirDrop to ten minutes in China. It then expanded that to all users in iOS 16.2.

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China Says It Has Cracked Apple AirDrop

China Says It Has Cracked Apple AirDrop

China Says It Has Cracked Apple AirDrop

China Says It Has Cracked Apple AirDrop
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