Someone managed to jailbreak an AirTag already

AirTag Setup
AirTag Setup (Image credit: Joe Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Someone has been able to hack an AirTag to give them control over its behavior.
  • A hacker has been able to have an AirTag direct users to their own website via Lost Mode.

Little more than a week after going on sale, Apple's AirTag item track has already been jailbroken.

First spotted by The 8-Bit. German researcher 'stacksmashing' has been able to hack their way into an AirTag's software, changing how it behaves when put into Lost Mode.

German security researcher and YouTube content creator that goes by the name Stack Smashing tweeted today that they were successful in "breaking into the microcontroller of the AirTag." They were then able to re-flash the microcontroller that enabled them to modify elements of AirTag's software.

With the new software in place the hacked AirTag presents a custom URL when scanned in Lost Mode. Normally, scanning a lost AirTag would redirect users to Apple's website but this particular AirTag doesn't. And that could open the door for all kinds of weird, wonderful, and perhaps dangerous things in the future.

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It isn't clear yet what else, if anything, a jailbroken AirTag could be forced to do or whether Apple could plug this hole via a software update in a similar method to how AirPods receive updates. Tim will tell.

Hacked or not, there are some great accessories around for the new AirTag. We've listed some of the best accessories for AIrTags you can find – doing the research so you don't have to!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.