A fake AirTag has been developed by a security researcher. This beacon uses Apple’s Locate network to spy on and track individuals. In particular, it is possible to track an iPhone user without a notification warning him.
Shortly after its release, the AirTag was diverted from its initial use, namely to find lost objects, by malicious individuals. In the United States, car thieves use it to track their victims to their homes. To protect users, Apple has implemented security.
For example, the beacon rings as soon as it is separated from its owner after several hours, which alerts the possible victim of harassment. In addition, iPhones constantly monitor that a tracker is not placed nearby. If so, a notification will alert you to the presence of an unknown AirTag after an allotted time. It will be possible to ring it and deactivate it.
Related: A Young Woman Found an AirTag Under Her Car
AirTag clone can use Apple’s network to spy on iPhone owners
Unfortunately for Apple, Positive Security researchers are managed to build a fake AirTag to circumvent these safeguards. Fabian Braunlein, the author of this experiment, succeeded in constructing a “Stealth AirTag” able to spy without any difficulty on an iPhone user.
“The main risk is not the introduction of AirTags, but the introduction of the Locate ecosystem which uses customer devices to provide this service”, explains Fabian Braunlein in a long demonstration. The expert ensures that third-party tags, made by malicious individuals, can interfere with the Locate network. These trackers can allow an individual to be tracked without Apple’s protections being activated. According to the researcher, Apple must take this possibility into account.
In the same vein, doctored AirTags have recently appeared for sale on eBay or Etsy. Handymen had managed to remove the speaker from the beacon. To reassure users worried about these tampered AirTags, Apple has promised a new series of measures. With a future update, an alert will appear on the iPhone screen whenever an unknown beacon rings nearby. It will also be possible to locate it with greater precision. Unfortunately, Apple is currently powerless against the emergence of AirTag clones.