In a recent development, Chinese tech company Wangshendongjian Technology has reportedly successfully cracked the encryption surrounding Apple’s AirDrop wireless file-sharing function. Judicial authorities in Beijing confirmed that the company’s breakthrough allowed them to identify users of the popular feature.
The city’s Justice Bureau revealed that Wangshendongjian Technology’s achievement played a crucial role in aiding the police to track down individuals who utilized AirDrop to disseminate “inappropriate information” to passersby in the Beijing subway. The investigation was initiated following a complaint, with the authorities managing to identify the senders through their mobile phone numbers and email addresses.
While the department did not disclose specific details about the nature of the messages, it stated that several suspects had been identified. AirDrop has previously been linked to nuisance messages received by commuters in Chinese cities, and it was reportedly used by protesters to share anonymous messages critical of the Chinese government towards the end of 2022.
Wangshendongjian Technology’s breakthrough was hailed as overcoming the “technical difficulties of anonymous traceability through AirDrop,” ultimately preventing the further spread of inappropriate remarks and potential negative influences, according to the department’s statement.
Reports from international media outlets suggest that residents in China had utilized AirDrop to distribute leaflets and images echoing slogans from a rare protest against Chinese leader Xi Jinping in October 2022.
In response to such incidents, Apple took measures in November 2022 by limiting AirDrop sharing with non-contacts for devices in China, making it more challenging for users to share files with unfamiliar individuals. This restriction was later expanded globally, reflecting the tech giant’s commitment to addressing security and privacy concerns related to its popular wireless file-sharing feature.