Apple users, take caution! A brand-new device has arrived, and it has the potential to ruin your cherished smartphone. This inconspicuous handheld gadget, called the Flipper Zero, has the ability to forcefully crash your iPhone or other Bluetooth-enabled handsets with a barrage of pop-up notifications, making them nearly unusable. Turning off your Bluetooth connection completely is the only way to defend yourself against this technological threat.
Not your typical device, the Flipper Zero is a multipurpose tool made to take use of short-range wireless communication protocols including Bluetooth, WiFi, RFID, and NFC. It is capable of targeting a large variety of gadgets, including televisions, hotel keys, garage doors, and smartphones.
While the Flipper Zero has been around since 2020, it has recently gained renewed attention due to its ability to overwhelm Bluetooth-enabled iPhones with a barrage of pop-ups, causing them to eventually shut down. One security researcher recounted their experience of being hacked on a train, with their iPhone constantly rebooting due to the incessant pop-ups.
Remarkably, the Flipper Zero is perfectly legal and available for purchase at an affordable price of $169, marketed as a “portable multi-tool for pentesters” — referring to penetration testers who assess and enhance cybersecurity by simulating cyberattacks. Despite its serious purpose, the Flipper Zero has a playful appearance, featuring a Gameboy-like interface with a pixelated cyberpunk dolphin mascot. Its ease of use and accessibility make it a concern in the world of cybersecurity, as even those with limited expertise can employ it to carry out potentially malicious actions.
Such a device’s accessibility highlights how digital security is changing. The general market’s access to the Flipper Zero highlights the need of strong security mechanisms in wireless communications networks. This kind of technology recommends that businesses should strengthen their security protocols if it can interfere with these systems with such ease.
Although this gadget has been shown to be vulnerable to devices running Android, Windows, and Apple OS, the tech giants have not yet disclosed any intentions to patch this vulnerability. For the time being, turning off Bluetooth on your smartphone is the best method to protect it—just follow TechCrunch’s instructions. Users need to be on the lookout for potential risks to their devices, such as the Flipper Zero, until additional action is taken.