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10 tips and tricks for Apple AirTag

Since Apple launched the Bluetooth-based tracking device AirTag, reports of devices used for stalking and other criminal activity have surfaced around the world. Citing these events, the company has begun taking the necessary steps to prevent such issues by assisting users with relevant safety guides and adding AirTag’s privacy features. However, security researchers have created AirTag clones that can bypass almost any stalking protection feature aimed at preventing privacy issues.

AirTag clone bypasses Apple’s stalking protection

Apple’s AirTag is a great device for tracking and finding lost items such as wallets, keys, luggage, but people are using it to stalk others without their knowledge. .. Following these issues, Apple recently introduced new privacy features on its devices to prevent such activities. In fact, the company has integrated some of these features with the latest iOS 15.4 Beta 4 update.

However, developed by a security researcher in Berlin, Germany, Build a “stealth” AirTag clone that can bypass Apple’s current stalking protection.. These clones do not have a unique serial number as the original AirTag and are not paired with your Apple ID. In a recent blog post, security researcher Fabian Bräulein described how to develop an AirTag clone as part of a hands-on experiment to unknowingly track iPhone users for a full five days.

Bräulein is based on a system (source code via GitHub) based on OpenHaystack, a dedicated framework for tracking Bluetooth devices using the Find My network.Then he used ESP32 microcontroller that supports cables for building Bluetooth, power banks, and AirTag clones..

Setting up an Airtag clone to stalk people

How does it work?

In a blog post, Broyline explained how to theoretically bypass each of Apple’s stalking prevention features... For example, if AirTag leaves the owner, it will now beep and notify people near the device after 3 days. Apple has reduced the delay from 3 days to 8 hours to 24 hours, but the AirTag clone doesn’t have a functional speaker, so it bypasses the delay. It has become clear that various such clones have been found on eBay.

Other features, such as tracking alerts with notifications to potential stalker victims, Over 2,000 preloaded public keys and AirTag clones broadcast one of them every 30 seconds.. In addition, due to the lack of an internal UWB chip, the victim was unable to track the device using the Precision Finding feature of the Find My app.

Broylein reported he was able Succeeded in tracking and identifying iPhone users and roommates who have iPhones for 5 daysWithout receiving tracking alerts on your device, using AirTag clones and custom macOS tools modified for your project.Following testing, it was also discovered Apple’s Android Tracker Detect app was unable to detect an AirTag clone..

Researchers "stealth" AirTag clone that can bypass Apple's stalking protection

Bräulein reveals that this project is not intended to facilitate AirTag-based stalking. Instead, detailed blog posts and AirTag clones are an easy way for people with the right knowledge to avoid them and develop modified AirTags to continue stalking, even with Apple’s privacy measures in place. The purpose is to emphasize the fact that you can find. Therefore, Apple needs to take these issues into account when integrating AirTag’s anti-stalking features in the future.

On the other hand, if you’re worried about being tracked using AirTag, you can read the official AirTags Safety Guide for more details. Also, if you find an unknown AirTag in your wallet, car, or wallet, follow the guide on how to disable the AirTag you’re traveling with. Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on this new discovery in the comments below!