Apple has always boasted about how secure their products can be, such as Macs or iPhones. However, reality has already proven that in the realm of technology, nothing should be taken for granted. Now, a small device dubbed as the “hacker’s Tamagotchi” has managed to do something many believed was impossible: lock your iPhone without even touching it.
Through ArsTechnica, we have firsthand knowledge of the testimony of Jeroen van der Ham, a renowned security researcher. According to Ham’s account, he was traveling on a train in the Netherlands when suddenly, his iPhone started flooding with pop-up windows. The persistence of these messages was such that his phone became impossible to use.
That wasn’t the end of it. To Ham’s surprise, he experienced the same incident on the return journey. The only difference was that his iPhone was not the only one affected; now, it was happening on other passengers’ iPhones as well. It was at that moment he realized that one of the individuals present had been there during the previous trip. So, it could only be one way; that passenger had to be the culprit.
What did he use to disable the iPhones exactly? Well, a small device called Flipper Zero. It is a white and orange gadget that has become very popular in recent months due to its ability to connect to various wireless signals (NFC, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc.). In other contexts, Flipper Zero can emulate the functioning of a remote control, for example.
Despite its apparent simplicity, in the wrong hands, it can be quite a nuisance. With the Flipper Zero, the train passenger where Ham was had sent constant pairing requests via Bluetooth. The persistence of these requests is what would have eventually “saturated” the iPhone and, consequently, caused it to stop functioning normally.
However, don’t think that having an Android device would save you. In fact, not even Windows is safe. The Flipper Zero has different modes that can flood devices with iOS, Android, or Windows with pairing requests. If you believe you are a victim of such an attack, the solution to the problem is quite simple: disable Bluetooth.