A curious bug has crept into iOS: As a security researcher reports, the error is noticed by an interruption in the WiFi connection. Restarts don’t help either. The “culprit” is a combination of characters in the hotspot name.
This newly discovered iPhone bug interrupts the WiFi connection and functionality of the iPhone as soon as you connect to a WiFi hotspot with the character combination “%p%s%s%s%s%n” in its name. The reverse engineer and security researcher Carl Schou discovered this. As soon as an iPhone connects to a Wi-Fi hotspot marked in this way, the error is triggered. Then the Internet connection is interrupted and, according to Schou, cannot be reactivated – not even after restarting the device.
As always, the problem is with such bugs, which at first seem curious: this vulnerability could be exploited by malicious actors who place fraudulent WiFi hotspots in popular public areas in order to block iPhone devices that connect to them.
“After I connected my personal WiFi to the SSID ‘%p%s%s%s%s%n’, my iPhone permanently deactivated its WiFi functionality. Neither a restart nor changing the SSID fix the problem,” tweeted Schou. According to initial findings, as reported by Macrumors and others, iOS is also affected in the current version iOS 14.6. Android devices are not affected according to the subsequent tests of the problem. At the moment one is still looking for the error in the iPhone operating system. It is presumably a weakness in the string formatting that triggers the error when parsing input.
The only way to fix the broken WiFi function of the iPhone is to reset the network settings of the iPhone.
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