Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
- A minor has been arrested for issuing a bomb threat to passengers on an American Airlines flight via AirDrop.
- The person used the iOS service to tell passengers that they would like to share a photo of a bomb they are carrying.
- The plane was carrying 125 passengers and eight crew members.
A young suspect has been arrested for issuing bomb threats to passengers on an American Airlines flight. The plane carrying 125 passengers and eight crew members was taking off from El Paso International Airport. It was delayed for four hours after passengers using iOS received the following message via AirDrop: “I have a bomb I would like to share a photo.”
AirDrop, Apple’s proprietary wireless file transfer service, can be used to share photos, videos, and other types of files between iOS devices. The sender and receivers must be nearby and within Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range. However, iPhone, Mac, or iPad users must allow AirDrop to receive items or make their devices discoverable for someone sends them something using the service. The incident is a reminder not to keep this setting enabled at all times.
In this case, the anonymous miner confessed to sending a threat via AirDrop. However, before the suspect was arrested, the bomb squad had to sweep the entire plane. Fortunately, passengers, baggage and all other areas of the aircraft tested negative for explosives.
The threat “has been mitigated and found not to be credible,” according to a press release sent by the Texas Department of Public Safety (via KTSM).
Meanwhile, police seized the minor’s phone and found evidence of the AirDrop prank message on it. The El Paso County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the person for false alarm or report.