Reverse engineer Carl Schou has discovered an iPhone bug that can cause its Wi-Fi functionality to break and cannot be fixed by turning it off and on again.
The bug relies on attempting to connect to a hotspot with a specific name. Carl Schou first noticed the issue when trying to connect to his hotspot named with the SSID %p%s%s%s%s%n.
After joining my personal WiFi with the SSID “%p%s%s%s%s%n”, my iPhone permanently disabled it’s WiFi functionality. Neither rebooting nor changing SSID fixes it :~) pic.twitter.com/2eue90JFu3
— Carl Schou (@vm_call) June 18, 2021
“I’ve tested this with an iPhone running iOS 14.6, and it does indeed disable Wi-Fi, and a reboot doesn’t fix it.”
“OK, but how do you prevent this from happening in the first place? After all, little stops pranksters — or possibly a hacker using this as a vulnerability to do something more malicious — from setting up Wi-Fi hotspots with this name and no password.”
“Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and make sure that Auto-Join Hotspots is set to Ask to Join or Never. “
“Better safe than sorry!”
“I can also confirm that this does not seem to be an issue for Android users. I tried a number of handsets, and they all connected fine.”
However, he has confirmed that this bug does not affect android mobiles. He tried various variations, but they remained ineffective.
In a country like Pakistan, notorious for its many pranksters, after all, according to the urban legend, we did invent the first virus; one would be best advised to remain on their toes when it comes to their mobile and cybersecurity as it can have life-ruining consequences.
If nothing else, considering the price tag that comes with an iPhone, any permanent harm to the costly gadget can have dire consequences since mobile phone warranty in the country is non-existent.