Teenager evacuated plane by sending ‘inappropriate images’ via Airdrop

A teenager thought he was playing a good joke on the other passengers on his flight. Failed: its image sending by AirDrop caused the evacuation of the plane, and it was refused on board.

If you are not already aware, know that a whole (young) fringe of the population has fun sending memes and other funny images via AirDrop, the fast sharing feature of iPhone, Mac and other iPads. No need to know the recipient. To shower him with images, all he has to do is that his device is within signal range (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi), and that he displays his AirDrop to “everyone”. Each time you send, a preview of the photo is displayed on the recipient’s device, who has the opportunity to decline it so that it is not downloaded to their phone.

AirDrop allows you to share files with friends or colleagues, but also with strangers. // Source: Numerama / Julien Cadot

This hobby is cool when people use it to share pictures of the penguin Pingu, but it can quickly drift. The story spotted by Gizmodo is an extreme example. While seated on a July 22 San Francisco-Orlando flight alongside his mother, a teenager began sharing footage via Airdrop to fellow passengers before takeoff. Shortly afterwards, the flight crew announced the disembarkation of the aircraft due to a ” urgent threat “. Evacuated, the passengers had to pass a new individual security check before takeoff.

The sender of the images remains at the boarding gate

The teenager was identified as the reason for the alert and he was not allowed to re-board. The reason according to the airport authorities, interviewed by NBC? He ‘airdropped’ ‘ inappropriate images “. In particular, he would have sent photos of an airsoft gun to several passengers, enough to worry them of a potential threat, going back to the crew. False alert: according to the security services, the offending photo had been taken before the day of take-off, in a place other than the airport, and the teenager did not have the ball gun on him. Such a weapon can hardly inflict more than bruises, but it would have created panic on board.

It remains to be seen how the bad joker was identified. If he did not take precaution, the name given to his phone could be displayed to the recipients of his photos, and would have made it possible to easily trace his identity. To avoid receiving unwanted photos on AirDrop and protect yourself from this kind of bad stuffing, just make a small change in the setting.

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