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posted by janrinok on Wednesday June 11 2014, @11:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the whats-in-it-for-them? dept.

Russell Brandom reports that a new feature in iOS 8 is set to cause havoc for location trackers, and score a major win for privacy: When iOS 8 devices look for a connection, iOS 8 will randomize their MAC address, effectively disguising any trace of the real device until it decides to connect to a network. Why are iPhones checking out Wi-Fi networks in disguise? Because there's an entire industry devoted to tracking customers through that signal. Shops from Nordstrom's to JC Penney have tried out a system that automatically logs any phone within Wi-Fi range, giving stores a complete record of who walked into the shop and when. But any phone using iOS 8 will be invisible to the process, potentially calling the whole system into question. "Now that Apple has embraced MAC spoofing, the practice of Wi-Fi sniffing may stop working entirely," says Brandom. "The result is a privacy win for Apple users and a major blow against data marketing and all it took was an automatic update."

 
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  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday June 11 2014, @01:41PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 11 2014, @01:41PM (#54122)

    Oh and followed up based on my research interests, if you want to fool around with the host side (write apps or misterhouse interface or whatever) you want the TI sensor tag project, and if you want to fool around on the other side with weird sensors then you want the seeeeeeeeed studios arduino shield (BLE shield or something like that) and if you're not very concerned about physical size / power or compatibility with the rest of the ecosystem you can buy BLE usb dongles that are linux compatible for like $20 or less.

    And other than researching and a tiny bit of screwing around thats all I have on the topic.

    Notice how I didn't mention any crypto or spoofing prevention what so ever? Didn't mention any replay prevention tech? Yeah, thats exactly right. Nothing. So I can trivially in like two command lines make my house "look" on a BLE level exactly like my local Apple iStore. Crazy, huh? Hopefully nobody's ever going to rely on this for financial transactions, I mean they've never implemented security thru obscurity before LOL.

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