Monday, April 25, 2011

iPhones secretly tracks your movements

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseAccording to security researchers, Apple iPhones and iPads are recording your every move, logging your exact longitude and latitude and stored into a hidden and unencrypted but easily accessible file that can be read by anyone with physical access to the device.

The file, which is stored on both the iOS device and any computers that store backups of its data, can be used to reconstruct a detailed snapshot of the user's comings and goings, down to the second

The researchers didn't offer any guidance on how to turn off the movement tracker, but suggested users encrypt backups when syncing devices with iTunes to prevent the data from being read by people who have access to the underlying computer.

But that advice would do nothing to deter those who steal or otherwise obtain an iPhone or iPad.

The data is stored in the /Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backups/ folder of computers that sync to the iDevice. While most of the folders and files inside contain pseudo-random names, it's possible to unscramble them by examining files called Manifest.mbdb and Manifest.mbdx. With a few more steps, users will extract a database in the SQLite format that's easily read with multiple applications.

The researchers said that locations are tracked by triangulating near-by cellphone towers. That suggests that the movements are tracked even when an iDevice's GPS features are turned off.

Also they have released open-source software that makes the entire process a snap. It also plots the information to a map that shows the movements of the user. While the locations are stored down to the second, the researchers said, their software intentionally reduces the time to weekly increments to make the data less useful to snoops.

7 commentaires:

Marian said...

and android, too :(

Fugazi said...


fit4life said...

i've heard so much about this, there are pros and cons, pro's, can help with thefts, and locating kidnapped people, con's, invasion of privacy

Reilly said...

Steve jobs, you asshole

Al3xaG said...

This is a lil creepy

GGMP said...

The app that shows on a map everywhere you went is a cool thing to come out of this

casperch said...

GGMP, is this app real? Can i get it?

that would be cool, as a fun app. I dont care about being tracked, I'm not fucking around in any weird places.

Also following your blog for more iPhone news :D

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