AirGuard - Protecting Android Users from Stalking Attacks by Apple Find My Devices

AuthorHeinrich, Alexander; Bittner, Niklas; Hollick, Matthias
TypeConference Proceedings
AbstractFinder networks in general, and Apple's Find My network in particular, can pose a grave threat to users' privacy and even health if these networks are abused for stalking. Apple's release of the AirTag-a very affordable tracker covered by the nearly ubiquitous Find My network-amplified this issue. While Apple provides a stalking detection feature within its ecosystem, billions of Android users are still left in the dark. Apple recently released the Android app "Tracker Detect," which does not deliver a convincing feature set for stalking protection. We reverse engineer Apple's tracking protection in iOS and discuss its features regarding stalking detection. We design "AirGuard" and release it as an Android app to protect against abuse by Apple tracking devices. We compare the performance of our solution with the Apple-provided one in iOS and study the use of AirGuard in the wild over multiple weeks using data contributed by tens of thousands of active users.
Conference15th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks
InWiSec '22: Proceedings of the 15th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks, p.26-38