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Black Hat 2022 Security Researchers Reveal Hidden Loopholes In Tracking Devices

Security researchers at this year’s Black Hat conference revealed a new cybersecurity threat that relies on UWB technology to expose tracking systems.

The Black Hat is a cybersecurity conference that’s essentially just Comic-Con for individuals or groups interested in cybercrime and its prevention against it. Such groups typically consist of corporations, governmental agencies, small businesses, security researchers, hackers, and even the occasional individual who’s interested in the entire rigmarole of online safety. If I’m going to be fully honest, it’s a very important rigmarole to familiarize oneself with as well, considering just how much of our information is online nowadays. GPS systems, social security numbers, credit or debit card information, the list is exhausting. Black Hat’s also an interesting convention to frequent if an individual is looking to get into the business of cybersecurity; it’s a meeting of the top dogs in the business, all discussing research they’ve conducted and what the industry’s current landscape looks like. I’d be interested in attending myself if I had any level of familiarity with cybersecurity work.

At any rate, many bad actors and cybercriminals online have taken to infiltrating physical devices in the hopes of extracting information. Social media accounts are no longer the score: they’re shooting for Apple Air Tags, vehicular GPS, home AI systems, and so forth. Such devices aren’t necessarily as well guarded as laptops with anti-virus and anti-malware software, and can often provide immense rewards in turn. With online criminals becoming smarter by the day, learning from past mistakes, and figuring out newer, fresher loopholes, it’s important to both stay vigilant and keep our lines of defense sharp as well.

Let’s talk about this recent cybersecurity expose. Tracking systems built on UWB (ultra-wideband) radio technology are currently at risk. These systems rely on RTLS (real-time locating systems) and are often utilized in the creation of tracking tags and chips. They can relay location data with exceeding accuracy and are thus often used to keep a track of items or individuals. Apple’s Air Tags work much in the same way.

So, a cybersecurity breach in such systems means that many individuals might have been harmed, yes? Well, no; as a matter of fact, these security breaches were conducted by our very own researchers, in an attempt to preemptively locate security deficits and correct them beforehand. Tech corporations often hand out bounties for the discovery of such loopholes as well, so here’s to hoping the team got a bonus off of Apple.


H/T: PCMag.

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