Reverse engineering specialist Carl Schou has identified a bug in the iPhone system software, due to which, when connected to an access point with a specific name, the Wi-Fi module built into the smartphone is disrupted. It is noteworthy that neither rebooting the device nor changing the network name helps to restore functionality.
According to reports, Karl Shaw experimentally created a Wi-Fi hotspot named “%p%s%s%s%s%n” and tried to connect to it. It turned out that after passing the authentication, his iPhone simply automatically turned off the Wi-Fi function and did not allow it to be reactivated. The performance of the wireless adapter did not recover even after restarting the smartphone.
“After connecting to my personal Wi-Fi with SSID “%p%s%s%s%s%n”, my iPhone disabled the Wi-Fi function permanently. Neither rebooting nor changing the SSID will correct the situation, “Karl Shaw wrote on Twitter. This experiment used an iPhone XS running iOS 14.4.2. The source notes that the presence of the bug has been confirmed on iPhone with iOS 14.6, Wi-Fi function on it also turned off when connected to an access point with the previously mentioned name.
The only way to restore Wi-Fi functionality in this case is to reset the network settings on the iPhone to factory defaults. The detected bug is quite serious, since it can be used by cybercriminals to launch such access points in crowded places for the purpose of sabotage.