Hackers Could Crash Your iPhone Over Wi-Fi
Cernescu Andrei / 2 years ago
Remember when we told you that your iPhone could crash if you set it to a certain date? Well, even though you would have to perform the date changing manually in order to trigger this bug, it looks like hackers could still abuse it via Wi-Fi. Apple has issued a fix in the beta version of the iOS 9.3 operating system in order to address the glitch, but two researchers named Matt Harrigan and Patrick Kelley have exploited the tendency of iOS devices to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks that they recognize in order to prove a point. The exploit involved creating a new network with the same name but with a hostile time server that would cause nearby iPads to reset their time and refuse to reboot. Fortunately, the team worked with Apple to release a fix for this bug before they published their findings.
“The reboot caused all iPads in test to degrade gradually, beginning with the inability to unlock, and ultimately ending with the device overheating and not booting at all. Apple has confirmed this vulnerability to be present in 64 bit devices that are running any version less than 9.3.1.”
The same method is much harder to implement on iPhones, as they receive network time updates differently when compared to iPads. Still, the researchers have stated that it is definitely possible to brick an iPhone using Wi-Fi as well. In order to protect yourself, you should make sure that your iPhone and iPad are running iOS 9.3.1, and you should definitely avoid using internet connections without safety certificates or Wi-Fi networks that are not password protected. Just in case you want to see the glitch for yourself, you can have a look at the following video.