When the user toggles Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off of the iPhone’s Control Center the slightly complex menu that appears when you swipe up from the base of the phone it really doesn’t completely turn them off. While that might appear like a bug, that’s really what Apple expected in the new operating system. But safety researchers suggest that users might not understand this and, as a consequence could leave Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on externally noticing.
“It is stupid,” Collin Mulliner, a security researcher who’s studied Bluetooth for years, told News on Twitter. “It is not bright for the user.”
To be fair, and to be clear, this response is exactly what Apple wants. In its own documentation, the organization says that “in iOS 11 and later, when you toggle the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth switches in Control Center, your device will instantly disconnect from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will remain to be available.” That is because Apple needs the iPhone to be able to stay using AirDrop, AirPlay, Apple Pencil, Apple Watch, Location Services, and different features, according to the documentation.
Experts examined this behavior on an iPhone with iOS 11 connected and verified that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wait on in the settings after setting them off in the Control Center, as some users have begun to notice.
Andrea Barisani, a security researcher and one of the first person to see this change, said in a Twitter that the new user interface is not accessible at all and makes the user experience more “difficult.”
Turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi decreases your exposure to potential advances in hardware, firmware, and software, so “it’s good practice,” Barisani told me. Just last week, security researchers announced the existence of a series of bugs in the way any operating systems performed Bluetooth that allowed hackers to take over victim’s machines as long as the Bluetooth was on without wanting to trick the user into ticking a malicious link or do anything at all.
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