Wednesday, March 28, 2012

iOS Fast WiFi Connection Leaks Information

I'm not really a network expert, but something that I always loved about my iPhone was/is its ability to "instantly" connect to the WiFi networks when I get home or to work. Putting my Android Phone side by side with my iPhone, and waking them up at the same time, the iPhone can get immediate internet access, while on my Android I have to wait several seconds that feel like an eternity.

Sometime ago, I remember reading about how Apple achieved that feat, with the iOS attempting to connect to the three previous WiFi networks simultaneously, hoping that it would "get lucky" and speeding up the process dramatically. For most cases, it does.

But now, someone decided to turn that speeding up procedure into a security risk, because anyone in a public WiFi network you connect to could have access to the MAC IDs of your previously connected WiFi networks.

Considering your MAC addresses are already being publicly broadcast (for anyone in the vicinity of your WiFi network), I don't think this is a greater security "leak" than any other thing you're willing to do over WiFi - and, personally, I prefer the convenience of the instant WiFi access that iOS is currently offering, over the privacy of somw WiFi networks MAC IDs.

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