Flight evacuated after image of suicide vest AirDropped to Apple devices

Kari Paul for The Guardian:

A flight out of Newark was evacuated when someone sent an image of a suicide vest to multiple Apple devices on the plane as passengers awaited takeoff, the latest warning that Apple’s AirDrop feature can be used for more than flirting and sharing memes.

Passengers on a Tampa-bound JetBlue flight received an unsettling surprise on Saturday when someone sent them the image through Apple’s AirDrop feature, which allows users to share content with nearby devices through Bluetooth technology.

The plane was evacuated, and was able to take off after Port Authority police and bomb-sniffing dogs concluded there was no threat on board. But police have been unable to identify who sent the image in question.

Unsolicited AirDrop messages have both been popular, and a concern, since the feature was first introduced in 2011. The feature allows Apple users to send photos to anyone in a 30ft radius, and lets users accept or decline an image when it is sent. However, the request includes an image preview that users are forced to see before responding.

MacDailyNews Take: Sigh.

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.


    1. What did they happen to say about mentally unstable white guys with bags of high-powered weapons in Las Vegas hotel rooms overlooking country music concerts? Just curious.

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