Wireless security on iPod touch
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I have an iPod touch. When I am connected to a wireless network, what information does the iPod touch provide to the network router or switch? For example, can the network administrator see the name or serial number of the touch?
A: The iPod touch works as a standard wireless client in the same way as any computer does. In order to “lease” an IP address from your network, it will need to provide information such as the hardware address of it’s wireless card (sometimes referred to as a “MAC address”—short for “Media Access Control” and not to be confused with a Macintosh computer). An experienced network administrator might recognize this address as belonging to hardware manufactured by Apple, but it would otherwise be indistinguishable from an address belonging to any Mac hardware such as a MacBook or MacBook Pro.
If you have manually specified a “Client ID” in your network settings, this is also passed to the network server that provides your device with its IP address. However, this field is normally empty by default on the iPod touch and iPhone. Some networks may require it to be specified, but this is relatively uncommon.
Ultimately, however, information such as the iPod’s serial number or even the device name is not passed to the wireless network, and is not even available from the device itself on a standard non-jailbroken iPod touch configuration. Deep scans of the device over the network by a very experienced networking engineer might reveal that the device is an iPod touch, but that’s pretty much it.
Note that jailbreaking the device and adding applications can expose your device, however, particularly if you’re adding file-sharing related applications. Such applications will generally make the iPod touch appear as a “server” on the network. In fact, many jailbreaking tools offer the ability to install OpenSSH on your device, which effectively makes it accessible to anybody with an SSH client and the correct password. If you are jailbreaking your iPod touch, you should always be extremely careful which applications you install. Applications that provide file-sharing and SSH capabilities are recommended for experienced users only, as they provide a potential conduit for hackers to gain access to ALL of the content on your iPod touch if not properly configured. In this case, you’re potentially exposing not only your device name and serial number, but potentially all of your personal content as well, including your address book, calendar, e-mail, and your media library.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Judge throws out ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple
- Chinese company in iPhone patent fight is all but defunct
- Apple adds nine more apps to universal search in Apple TV
- WSJ: iPhone to see modest changes this year, eliminate headphone jack
- China tightening restrictions on mobile games starting next month
- Supreme Court patent ruling bodes well for future Apple cases
- Apple to pay $400M to consumers over e-book price fixing case
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC SonicPro Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
- Twelve South BookBook for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Spigen Rugged Armor, Style Armor + Wallet S for iPhone SE
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app