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A Texas woman is blaming a creepy stalker incident on a common iPhone feature, according to a new report.
Becca Blackman Wilcox, 45, was at a convenience station in San Angelo, Texas last month. There was no one in the store other than the clerk and one other person getting gas, she told the San Angelo Standard Times.
After fueling up, Wilcox headed east on deserted Highway 87. But that’s when she noticed the other person that was at the gas station — driving a maroon Ford Explorer — following her.
“I was only doing 74 mph. There were four lanes of traffic and I was in the slow lane, and I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t passing me,” Wilcox said.
The Explorer followed Wilcox, despite her changing lanes. The driver sped up and passed her, then slowed back down and got behind her again.
At one point, Wilcox said, the driver drove up alongside her vehicle, turned his dome light up, and stared at her. Wilcox called the police, believing the tailgating driver was intoxicated.
But then, Wilcox’s iPhone 7 rang. She answered the phone and the voice on the other end said “Becca? It’s Jason. I’m behind you. Pull over.”
Fearing for her life, Wilcox called her daughters, asked them to track her location, and sped to the nearest police station — the Maroon Explorer behind her the entire time. It was only when she pulled off the highway that the other driver fled.
Officers at the Brady police station suggested that Wilcox’s phone may have been hacked or otherwise compromised by the mystery stalker.
“I keep my phone in my back pocket always. I just never, ever would’ve realized that I had an open window in my pocket that anybody could see into,” Wilcox said.
Since the stalking incident, the Texas woman added that her phone records show calls she had never made, and two of her family members’ Facebook accounts had been hacked. At one point, Wilcox tried calling “Jason” back, but a publisher’s clearing house in Jamaica answered.
An AT&T spokesperson apparently told the woman that her iPhone may have been hacked via AirDrop.
Is This Even Possible?
AirDrop is an Apple ecosystem feature that lets users easily share data and files between Apple devices. But, at this point, it’s not a known security hole and there have been no other reports of malicious entity using AirDrop to gain access to private data.
Paul Bischoff, a privacy expert at Comparitech, told the San Angelo Standard Times that it’s theoretically possible for a user’s phone number to be found within AirDrop’s “code.” But Bischoff noted that accessing that number would take “US style military levels of decryption power.”
“One possibility might have been that Wilcox and the man who accessed her phone at one point exchanged contacts,” he added. It seems slightly more likely since Wilcox leaves her phone in her back pocket and AirDrop on.
But it’s still a fishy story, particularly as Apple devices are notoriously hard to hack. With the other weird things going on, Wilcox might have been targeted by a rare iOS-based malware — or, if the rest of her story is true, a hacker with an extremely sophisticated array of tools.
Learn More: Two Easy Ways to Access AirDrop in iOS 11