Would someone put something like this to their WiFi network: “% p% s% s% s% s% n”? It is very likely not. However, it’s good to know what Bleeping Computer, a computer security site, discovered: connection may be permanently lost on Apple devices when we try to connect to a network with an extremely weird name.
Before explaining the bug (a software bug), it is necessary that this is a major security flaw: Malicious actors could offer “free WiFi” to simply ruin devices.
The cause of the error is not clear at the moment, but BleepingComputer speculated that it could be a format flaw, that is, that the Apple operating system, iOS, may confuse the “%” character with programming commands and variables that affect what is behind what the user sees.
It happens that a user tweeted the problem and two specialized sites picked it up for their own tests: “After joining my personal WiFi with the SSID ‘% p% s% s% s% s% n’ , my iPhone disabled permanently its WiFi functionality.
Neither restarting it nor changing the name of the network is fixed, “tweeted a user expert in computer security.
The user who tweeted, Schou, explained how he ran into the problem: He said he regularly uses names like this to mess with “underdeveloped devices.” Tried the bug with iOS 14.4.2, but it was still a problem as of iOS 14.6.
“The tests carried out by BleepingComputer on an iPhone with iOS 14.6 confirm that the wireless functionality of an iPhone would break after connecting to the wireless network of strange name,” explained the site specialized in computer security.
“In multiple tests trying to connect to this strange WiFi network name, our setup would start to work erratically, but they all led to the same behavior – breaking our iPhone’s wireless connectivity,” they added.
“In some tests, the connection to the SSID was failing, but we could no longer access our usual wireless network. Further tests led to the behavior described by Schou, where the Wi-Fi settings of the iPhone would be disabled and we could no longer enable it again, as it’s shown in the following”:
The name of the iPhone network that “breaks” connectivity. Photo Bleeping Computer
Why is it dangerous and how to fix it
It is strange that there are problems with the connection to the WiFi in Apple, but this raises a security problem because it opens the door that simply through malicious intent, other people ruin temporarily third-party devices.
Fortunately, there is a solution: resetting network settings (Settings> General> Reset> Reset network settings).
Public Wi-Fi networks are insecure. Photo Shutterstock
It is impossible to fix this by changing the name of the network or trying to join another network, as the system immediately closes access to wireless networks once it is “activated”.
Anyway, the problem has a positive aspect: it is an excellent reminder about what it is never a good idea to join an unknown WiFi network– The potential security problems can be many.
This is a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s there as a friendly reminder.