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Wireless Networking Security Apple

Tool Reveals iPad and iPhone User Locations 36

Posted by timothy
from the cat's-away-mice-will-play dept.
mask.of.sanity writes "A researcher has found that Apple user locations can be potentially determined by tapping into Apple Maps and he has created a Python tool to make the process easier. iSniff GPS accesses Apple's database of wireless access points, which is collected by iPhones and iPads that have GPS and Wi-Fi location services enabled. Apple uses this crowd-sourced data to run its location services; however, the location database is not meant to be public. You can download the tool via Giuthub."
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Tool Reveals iPad and iPhone User Locations

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  • by Xenious (24845) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:10AM (#43674403)

    Hmmm, "it can be used to find where people live", so can a phone book. ;) A lot of the time summaries take a very specific issue (quoting from Thornburg) "this relies upon running an access point with no DHCP, which is what forces the iDevice to send ARPs for the last DHCP server it used" and escalating it to a more dramatic issue. Sometimes with a very simple partial solution (again from Thornburg) "NO device should be configured to automatically join wifi networks," and a general attack with the open source vs closed or apple vs anyone fighting. Grated the dry description isn't as eye catching but its much more logical.

    For the record yes I have an iPhone and no I am not setup to automatically join new wifi networks.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:19AM (#43674481)
    iOS devices (and many other devices) use the known locations of wireless access points to determine their own location. (They check which wireless access points they can see, with which signal strength, and compare the results with a database of wireless access locations). What this guy found was that he could access the same database. So he can find locations of wireless access locations, which are _not_ iPads or iPhones, and there is no reason to assume that they would be owned by Mac or iOS device owners.

    That said, the information should not be available to anything but the operating system on a device.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]