iOS 11’s Misleading “Off-ish” Setting for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is Bad for User Security

iOS 11’s Misleading “Off-ish” Setting for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is Bad for User Security

By | October 10th, 2017
No Comments on iOS 11’s Misleading “Off-ish” Setting for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is Bad for User Security

Turning off your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios when you’re not using them is

good security practice (not to mention good for your battery usage).. The

iPhone’s newest operating system, however, makes it harder for users to

control these settings.


														
							

Instead, what actually happens in iOS 11 when you toggle your quick settings to “off” is that the phone will disconnect from Wi-Fi networks and some devices, but remain on for Apple services. Location Services is still enabled, Apple devices (like Apple Watch and Pencil) stay connected, and services such as Handoff and Instant Hotspot stay on. Apple’s UI fails to even attempt to communicate these exceptions to its users.

It gets even worse. When you toggle these settings in the Control Center to what is best described as”off-ish,” they don’t stay that way. The Wi-Fi will turn back full-on if you drive or walk to a new location. And both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will turn back on at 5:00 AM. This is not clearly explained to users, nor left to them to choose, which makes security-aware users vulnerable as well.

The only way to turn off the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios is to enable Airplane Mode or navigate into Settings and go to the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth sections.

In an attempt to keep you connected to Apple devices and services, iOS 11 compromises users’ security. Such a loophole in connectivity can potentially leave users open to new attacks. Closing this loophole would not be a hard fix for Apple to make. At a bare minimum, Apple should make the Control Center toggles last until the user flips them back on, rather than overriding the user’s choice early the next morning.

Source

Google
Nisheeth Bhakuni