Apple AirDrop assaults on the rise as criminals ‘cyber flash’ strangers with lewd images

“As technology infiltrates every aspect of our lives, criminals and creeps are figuring out creative ways to abuse it,” CBS Philly reports. “One such way is called ‘cyber-flashing.'”

“Cyber-flashing is the act of sending lewd pictures to unsuspecting victims,” CBS Philly reports. “It’s such an issue in New York that laws are being created to help prosecute the digital sexual harassment. In Philadelphia, police say cyber-flashing is happening as well.”

“The AirDrop feature on Apple products is an easy way to share positive memories with loved ones but its very easy to send and receive digital messages from strangers nearby using the tool. It’s popular for its ease of use and quality for many people,” CBS Philly reports. “Unfortunately, that ease of sharing has led to cyber-flashing. An experiment found that it was incredibly easy to send pictures to strangers on a short walk through City Hall. While some folks rejected the request to accept sent items, others allowed the photos to be sent through. Some people didn’t even realize they had the AirDrop feature on.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Note to parents, make sure your kids’ AirDrop settings are set to “Receiving Off.”

Choose who can see your device and send you content in AirDrop:
Go to Settings > General > AirDrop and chose:
• Receiving Off
• Contacts Only
• Everyone

You can also set your AirDrop options in Control Center:

1. On iPhone X or later, swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen to open Control Center. On iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
2. Press firmly or touch and hold the network settings card in the upper-left corner.
3. Tap AirDrop AirDrop icon and choose one of these options:
• Receiving Off
• Contacts Only
• Everyone

If you see “Receiving Off” and can’t tap to change it, go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps and make sure that AirDrop is turned on.

How to prevent creeps from using Apple’s AirDrop to ‘cyber flash’ – August 22, 2017
How to share content with AirDrop on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch – March 3, 2017


  1. OMG, a penis!

    What in the world will I ever do?

    Simple. Delete it, change your settings to prevent just anyone from AirDropping to you.

    Why do we all have to be so hyper sensitive?

    1. Not so easy, as everyone who’s been bombarded with robocalls that seem to originate from your local calling zone can testify. I haven’t heard of a Caller ID system that can’t be spoofed.

      1. To make a one device to one device connection a lot is known about each device. In the case of “airdrop” there is no other hardware. Since Apple has near complete control of the software, receiving identity information should be a trivial matter.

        Sure people can hack their phones but the fools who do this stuff mostly aren’t that smart, plus Apple could say hack= no airdrop. Or at least a warning.

        Robocalls could be mostly stopped but dropping the requirement that phone companies must “complete calls”. This is the law that says AT&T (for example, all telcos have this requirement) that they MUST make the connection to your phone when the caller dials your number. Call blocking takes the call completion rules into account. Now, if the rule was changed, simply by detecting the frequency of robocalls from a location, illegal telemarkers could be quickly detected and blocked at the source.

        1. Seeing as how, by default, this feature is NOT enabled, a person has to MAKE themselves vulnerable to it, there’s every reason to believe that, no matter WHAT Apple did, there would be millions deciding to make themselves vulnerable and complaining about the consequences of making themselves vulnerable.

          Some problems have a clearly defined end-state that’s worth some degree of effort to get to. This is not one of those things.

  2. Oh no, it’s happening here at MDN! It’s horrible, some redhead holding a nefariously lewd device. Oh wait, it’s the Samsung Galaxy tab S4, the ultimate productivity and multitasking assistant.

    How could such a promotion possibly get in here?

    1. My insensitivity filter picked up your reference to redheads. I gather that wasn’t about me, but about some advert I had no idea about.. Natural redheads don’t lead the miraculous charmed life one might be given to believe, and like people of the “wrong” colour or LGBT status, feel stigmatised. You know, I am beginning to think that the whole world is hypersensitive to identity issues. Maybe that explains the last ten thousand years of wars, pogroms, and rude behaviour. We humans appear to be mentally wired to oppose or extinguish any persons outside our tribal kith and kin. Oh, that’s a big DUH… of course we are. Myself, I feel somewhat defective, wanting to see no harm come to my fellow humans regardless of clan. Except when I remember that charity and altruism also evolved, and I am amongst their vanguard, advocating education and understanding in place of revenge and conquest. Ah, but all that is not enough for you, the man in the high castle who expects more but can do little to undo humanity’s defects except point them out.

      1. Please don’t feel stigmatized. Redheads are awesome! My first serious girlfriend and first love was a redhead. Really great girl, but we ended up going to different colleges. And I had a couple of good friends who were redheads. Nice guys.

        Any disparaging remarks against redheads are the issuer’s problem, not yours. Own your pigment! Love it!

        1. Thank you. No one else takes me seriously about such matters. I think you are a fine and noble specimen of the male persuasion. I am proud to be a member of the human species, knowing it contains exemplars like you, who actually value reason and empathy.

      2. An interesting post, perhaps I should have used “some woman” or “someone” instead of some redhead but even those could bring out derisive comments against Samsung. I’m actually surprised that you missed the more blatantly obvious, that the likelihood of the redhead doing the ad is not from South Korea traditionally, not that it matters to me very much. Still to be clear, there was no intent of being derogatory towards anyone from South Korea (Samsung’s home nation) who might happen to be a redhead doing an add for Samsung.

        I doubt that the whole world is hypersensitive to identity issues, while you speak of thousands of years and wars, I’ll remind you that the human species is just one species of the planet, one of the few that is a warring one. So for thousands of years the vast majority of the world’s species have been at peace but I realize that some humans have that self-centered approach and think they are the whole world. As such there are probably many parameters you can think of that have been stigmatized.

        You comment “humans appear to be mentally wired to oppose or extinguish any persons outside our tribal kith and kin.” is exactly that, an appearance, and a partial one at that. A friend who ventured into one of those remote places on the planet met up with a tribe that had very little contact with anyone outside of their clan for lack of a better word. Some were fearful, some were cautious and some ran with open arms curious about these strange colored creatures. A diversity of responses in a population though the one running with curiosity and innocence were the clan’s children. That response is not an indication of a hard wire opposition to another clan, rather it is indicative of a learned response. You see your clan as fellow human beings and that’s wonderful. I see my clan as Gaia, all the living creatures on the planet are alive, just like I am and we all share the same DNA building blocks.

        The high castle statement makes me laugh, another appearance. My view is slightly different, I see your nation digging a hole rather than me building a castle surrounded by a wall.

        Finally I find the comment about doing little to undo humanity’s defects except point them out to be preposterously arrogant. I do more than just point them out, I suggest an alternative or alternatives. For example, you could have asked what I have done to advance the cause of humanity other than point out defects and I may have been inclined to share some of my life’s experience regarding that matter. That’s providing an alternative for next time. Maybe it will change my appearance in your eyes though once you smack that label of “whaaaaaaahhhhhh all he does is is point out humanity’s defects whaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh” it can be pretty hard to get rid of.

        1. I am well aware of being illogical, even childish in what I may say. My words form according to one mood or another and I give them free play. After writing something down, I read it, realise it is preposterous nonsense and then delete it.

          Yet sometimes my notes fly off unbidden. My mood may be so rank and sullen as to cloud my judgement, and a defiant finger will stab the “post comment” button.

          There are a few gentle souls who care enough to rectify me, and you are one of them.

          1. Ah thanks for clearing that up for me, you had me scratching my head. I certainly do not do a grand edit when I post things here and I make silly mistakes all the time. Some of them are quite funny.

            I’m honored by your comment, it’s nice to see someone who can glean part of my inner machinations.

            I buy most of my holiday presents during the course of the year so at this time of the year I go shopping, not to buy presents but to open doors for people full of shopping items, to say a nice word to the overworked teller, to share the magic of the holiday season and whatever niceties I can get away with in this day and age.

            Wishing you all the best this holiday season.

            1. Why thank you, for the well wishes and the compliment, which is simply an indication of being sapiosexual. I’ll leave that for you to muse over.


  3. This is so freaking stupid but not surprising. The same people who complain about having to change their airdrop settings are the same people who complain about having to use a block button on social media platforms. People have to accept the airdrops SMDH!

  4. If you can’t trust a company to get the little stuff right, how certain are you going to be about trusting everything on your mobile device to that company’s servers (or rather, the servers that this middleman company rents from Microsoft, Google, and Amazon)?

    Think about it.

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