Researcher Says: Apple Airtag Can Show When Residents Are Not At Home

The Apple AirTags that were launched last month make it possible for burglars, for example, to see whether the residents of a home are at home or not. That says security researcher Lukasz Krol . Via AirTags, users can find objects that they have lost. AirTags pass on their location to iPhones and iPads in the area, which can then be found via the Find My app.

For this, the devices use both bluetooth and the Find My network. This network uses nearby Apple devices to communicate the location of the AirTag. By placing an AirTag at a home, it is possible to see if there is an iPhone or other iOS device nearby. This is because the Find My app communicates when the last contact between the AirTag and the iOS device was before. This works particularly well for, for example, a detached house or a location with few iPhone users.

"By detecting the presence of Apple devices, an abandoned AirTag, acting as a proxy, can easily determine whether someone's home or office is empty," said Krol. The researcher acknowledges that the information that can be obtained in this way is not perfect. For example, the target could be out of range of the AirTag and the attack also only works when the residents are using an iPhone. Still, even coarse data can be useful for exploration purposes, Krol notes.

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