Apple iphone bug breaks WiFi when you be part of hotspot with strange name

​A new Iphone bug has occur to gentle that breaks your iPhone’s wi-fi features by just connecting to a distinct WiFi hotspot. After brought on, the bug would render your Iphone not able to set up a WiFi relationship, even if it is rebooted or the WiFi hotspot is renamed. A […]

​A new Iphone bug has occur to gentle that breaks your iPhone’s wi-fi features by just connecting to a distinct WiFi hotspot.

After brought on, the bug would render your Iphone not able to set up a WiFi relationship, even if it is rebooted or the WiFi hotspot is renamed.

A bug like this could be exploited by destructive actors planting rogue WiFi hotspots in well-known areas to bork Iphone products connecting to them.

This WiFi hotspot will bork your Apple iphone

This week, reverse engineer Carl Schou ran into an issue when connecting to his personal WiFi hotspot named:


On connecting to the hotspot, his iPhone’s WiFi would be disabled, and each individual time he tried out to empower it all over again, it would rapidly switch off, even if he restarted the gadget or the hotspot name was improved:

“Immediately after joining my particular WiFi with the SSID ‘%p%s%s%s%s%n’, my Apple iphone permanently disabled it is WiFi operation. Neither rebooting nor changing SSID fixes it :~),” tweeted Schou.

Schou instructed BleepingComputer that his experiment worked properly on an Iphone XS, managing iOS version 14.4.2.

Exams executed by BleepingComputer on an Iphone jogging iOS 14.6 ensure an iPhone’s wi-fi features would crack after connecting to the surprisingly named wireless community.

%p%s%s%s%s%n​​​​​​​ SSID available to join
%p%s%s%s%s%n SSID out there to sign up for​​​​​​
Source: BleepingComputer

In various tests making an attempt to link to this odd SSID, our Wi-Fi configurations would start out to function erratically, but all led to the exact same conduct – the breaking of our iPhone’s wireless connectivity.

In some assessments, connecting to the SSID would fall short, but we could no longer access our regular wireless network.

Other assessments led to the behavior explained by Schou, wherever the iPhones Wi-Fi location would be disabled, and we could no for a longer period permit it once more, as revealed below.

WiFi setting is broken after connecting to SSID
WiFi placing is broken right after connecting to SSID
Source: BleepingComputer

The only way to deal with our iPhone’s broken Wi-Fi feature was to reset the device’s Apple iphone community settings, which we describe how to do at the end of the posting.

A bug like this is really serious, considering malicious actors could plant rogue WiFi hotspots (needing no password) in popular regions to bork iPhone equipment that join to them.

In accordance to end users, the issue is exclusive to iPhones and does not seem to be reproducible on Android gadgets:

Probably a string formatting vulnerability

Other safety researchers who observed Schou’s tweet and analyzed the crash report believe that an input parsing challenge probably causes this bug.

When a string with “%” signals exists in WiFi hotspot names, iOS may well be mistakenly decoding the letters next “%” as string-format specifiers when they are not.

In C and C-design languages, string structure specifiers have a unique indicating and are processed by the language compiler as a variable name or a command relatively than just text.

For case in point, the next printf command does not essentially print the “%n” character but shops the number of characters (10) preceding %n into the variable “c.”

The “%n” is merely a format specifier and not an genuine text string. As these, the output of the adhering to line will only be “geeks for geeks,” with no mention of “%n.”

printf(“geeks for %ngeeks “, &c) 

Some customers have claimed earlier inserting the comparatively innocuous “%x” format specifiers in their WiFi SSID to stay clear of resulting in big challenges for unsuspecting WiFi people.

When requested what was his drive to title his WiFi hotspot with the funky string specifiers, the reverse engineer explained:

“All my devices are named after structure strings to f*** with poorly made units,” Schou explained to BleepingComputer.

How to rescue your Apple iphone from this WiFi bug?

Whilst restarting your Iphone is not going to correct the problem, this bug is not permanent and can be set with no resetting your complete device.

As an alternative, you can comply with these very simple measures to reset your iOS network settings to resolve the problem:

  1. Go to Settings on your Iphone, select Standard.
  2. Underneath Typical select Reset.
  3. You will now be at the Reset display, in which you can reset different attributes of iOS or the system alone. 

    ​​​​​​​At this display, choose the ‘Reset Community Settings’ selection and validate you would like to carry on when requested.

    iphone reset wifi
    Resetting community options on an iPhone (Apple)
  4. The machine will now restart and reset all of your network configurations again to manufacturing unit default. As soon as it has restarted, enter your passcode, and you can reconfigure your Wi-Fi options yet again.

​​​​​​​BleepingComputer has reached out to Apple for comment before publishing, and we are awaiting their response.

Update 20th Jun 11:13 AM: Joined to a researcher’s assessment of the crash report associated with this bug, published after we initially released the tale.

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