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Pervert or prankster sent porn to passengers

June 18, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A woman waiting to take off on a domestic flight was texting her husband when her iPhone buzzed and she looked down to see someone – apparently a fellow passenger on the flight – was trying to send her a “very explicit” pornographic image.

It seems the woman, 40, was a victim of an AirDrop prankster – AirDrop being the Apple function that lets a user wirelessly share photos, videos or other files to Apple devices in close proximity.

The cabin of an airliner is close enough, which is why the woman – and possibly other passengers using iPhones – received the startling photo, with a video quickly following.

The woman was aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Louisville to Chicago last week. She was “bombarded by inappropriate photos from a stranger on her flight” according to USA Today – and it’s by no means the first time such mischief has happened.

When the woman on the flight looked down to see someone whose name she didn’t recognise was sending her a pornographic image, she immediately turned off AirDrop – but then quickly turned it back on to take a screenshot of the sender’s name. In doing so, she instantly received two more AirDrop requests, with a video and another graphic photo, USA Today reported.

The sender’s name was inappropriate and obviously made-up – a sexual twist on the name Bilbo Baggins from “The Hobbit”.

The woman complained to a Southwest flight attendant, who instantly picked up the mike to the plane’s intercom and told “Mr Baggins” to stop AirDropping immediately. The stern tone worked.

Southwest spokesman Chriz Mainz confirmed to USA Today a passenger had sent lewd photos and videos via AirDrop on Southwest flight 1388.

The Southwest incident is the latest example of so-called “cyberflashing” on public transport using AirDrop. You can set AirDrop to receive only from contacts, but not everyone does so.

AirDrop. Photo: Apple Support

Last year, a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Oakland to Maui was delayed before takeoff by a bizarre incident in which passengers received a creepy photo of a fake crime scene on their phones.

The scary photo sent via AirDrop showed a child-size mannequin laid out in the manner of a police murder investigation. Passengers were concerned.

KHON2 television channel in Honolulu explained later that the picture showed a mock-up for a school bio-medical class and had been sent by a teenage student on the flight, who was attempting to send it to their mother nearby.

Written by Peter Needham

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