Mon, 4 December, 2023

NameDrop Warnings Exaggerated, Likely Due To Being An Extension Of AirDrop

NameDrop Warnings Exaggerated, Likely Due To Being An Extension Of AirDrop
NameDrop focuses on sharing contact information and requires devices to be in very close proximity, with both users granting permission for the transfer of selected data.  The heightened concern likely came from the connection to AirDrop, as its capacity to transfer various file types made it more susceptible to exploitation by malicious actors.  However, both features require multiple steps to transfer/receive information. 
Here are the specifics of what each feature accomplishes and the concerns that likely caused the initial scare.
NameDrop is a new feature currently available on Apple's iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1.  It allows users who are within a few centimeters of one another to share contact information such as a name, photo, phone number, or email address.  NameDrop only works if both devices are unlocked and the users must follow prompts to complete the process.  NameDrop relies on NFC for close-range connections.
AirDrop is a file-sharing feature that allows anyone with an Apple device to send photos, videos, documents, and other files to all Apple devices within 30 feet.  It uses a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to create a direct connection between the devices, so an internet connection isn’t needed.  The recipient must give permission to receive the files.
While AirDrop offers convenient file sharing between Apple devices, it does pose security risks. In 2019, a vulnerability was found, allowing potential attackers to seize control of nearby devices. Although this specific issue was resolved in iOS 13.2.3, other vulnerabilities in AirDrop may still be exploited by attackers to compromise your device through malware distribution, phishing attacks, and data leakage.
NameDrop, on the other hand, is primarily designed for sharing contact information and links, limiting its potential for malicious use. While it's still advisable to exercise caution when receiving NameDrop requests from unknown individuals, the risk of malware distribution or phishing attacks is significantly lower compared to AirDrop.
Both features are automatically enabled on Apple devices, to disabled, Go to Settings, NameDrop, Toggle the switch next to "Enable NameDrop" to the off position; in AirDrop, switch the AirDrop receiving setting to “Contacts Only” or “Receiving Off” at any time to control who can see your device and send you content in AirDrop.
It's crucial to be mindful of the files you accept and only engage in file transfers with trusted individuals. 

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