Apple will allow to find a stolen or lost device even without Internet

Apple will allow to find a stolen or lost device even without Internet

Apple will include in the next iOS 13 a new and innovative exclusive tracking application called ‘Find My’ for tracking and remote location of any macOS or iOS operating system.

This was stated Monday by Craig Federighi, vice president of Software Engineering of the technological giant, at the annual WWDC developer conference in San Jose (California, USA) that takes place from June 3 to 7.

As Federighi explained, this novelty represents an improvement of its old applications ‘Find My iPhone’ and ‘Find My Friends’ and will allow users to locate their device, even if they are not connected to the Internet or a Wi-Fi network, taking advantage of the Bluetooth of the team.

If a person reports as lost his iPhone, it will send a signal or Bluetooth beacon (Bluetooth Beacon ‘) – regardless of whether it is inactive or offline (‘ offline ‘) – which can be detected by another Apple user who is nearby , who will inform about the location of the lost device through the cloud.

Although it can be very effective, this system has already raised questions around privacy among security experts, who speculate that it could at the same time offer an opportunity for a third party to track the signal and find the equipment

In respect, Federighi said that the function has an elaborate system protected by an end-to-end encryption, not only to prevent intruders from identifying or tracking Bluetooth signals, but so that Apple itself can not know the locations of both devices.

“It uses only small pieces of data that accumulate in existing network traffic, so there is no need to worry about battery life, data usage or privacy,” the executive explained.

“Encrypted and anonymous”

In a telephone conversation with the Wired portal, Apple revealed more details about it, explaining how this system, which the company calls “encrypted and anonymous”, avoids any filtering of location data.

For its operation requires the interaction of two Apple computers, in which you must configure ‘Find My’.

From that moment on, a private key is generated and sent encrypted to each of the devices, which no one else owns. Also, a public key that changes frequently is created.

For example, to find a lost or stolen MacBook computer using ‘Find My’, there must be another Apple computer nearby; Let’s suppose it’s a passer-by’s iPhone.

At that moment, the stranger’s cell phone – without their interaction – will receive a public key from the MacBook via Bluetooth, which is encrypted and sent to an Apple server along with the private key that acts as the identifier.

When the owner of the laptop enters ‘Find My’ from a third device of the brand, the same private identifier is sent to the server. After checking that both data match, the company sends the encrypted location of the missing device from the pedestrian’s iPhone.

The information offered by Apple was explained in a very simplified way and not all the details are completely clear, particularly with regard to public keys.

It is still unknown how these will be compared between two devices, since they constantly change and, presumably, do not they will match In addition, the company has indicated that the system is still subject to changes before the release of iOS 13 later this year.

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