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Don’t name your Wi-Fi hotspot this, unless you want to crash your iPhone

Graham CLULEY

June 22, 2021

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Don’t name your Wi-Fi hotspot this, unless you want to crash your iPhone

A bizarre bug has been discovered in iOS that can cause an iPhone to crash when it attempts to join a Wi-Fi network with a particular name.

What’s the offending name? Well, I don’t want to put it in the text of this article in case some readers are curious enough to try it out for themselves.

So, here it is as an image:

Security researcher Carl Schou stumbled across the problem, and tweeted a vido of his iPhone getting in a mighty muddle when trying to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot with that name.

“Neither rebooting nor changing SSID fixes it,” reported Schou in a tweet.

In all likelihood this is a simple goof caused by the way in which the iOS code is parsing the Wi-Fi hotspot’s name, causing a crash. But sometimes silly errors like this can turn into nasty attacks that can be exploited by malicious hackers – so we should always treat bugs like this with the respect they deserve, and fix them at the earliest opportunity.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there is a a minor software update released by Apple for iPhones and iPads in the coming days which fixes the problem, but in the meantime here is a way that you can fix afflicted iPhones today:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Choose General > Reset
  • Select Reset Network Settings, and then – when prompted – confirm that you do wish to reset your network settings.

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