Newly Discovered Malformed WiFi Name Completely Disables WiFi on Your iPhone

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 4 Jul 2021

iphone wifi vulnerability

It seems that the iOS WiFi bug situation is only going to get worse as another WiFi SSID (access point name) has been discovered that disables WiFi on your iPhone. Not only connecting to the WiFi with this SSID disables WiFi, but it also requires a complete hard reset of your iPhone for the WiFi to work again.

Last week, security researcher Carl Schou discovered an iOS WiFi bug that disabled WiFi on your iPhone. Schou has since found another SSID named “%secretclub%power” that causes the WiFi on your iPhone to malfunction.

When an iPhone connects to a WiFi network with the name “%secretclub%power” it creates a fault in the WiFi module of the iPhone. As a result, the whole module shuts down, and the WiFi on your iPhone doesn’t work. This SSID is even more terrible than the previous one as the WiFi doesn’t turn on until your reset your iPhone.

Resetting the iPhone’s network settings doesn’t seem to work this time, and you’ll have to completely reset your iPhone if you connect to a WiFi named this.

Again, the bug seems like an issue with the WiFi name parsing on iPhone. In C coding language, %s is used to insert a variable in a string. Notice how the WiFi name string that causes the bug starts with ‘%s’. The software module of WiFi on iOS expects a variable to be input in place of ‘%s’ but since there’s no input, it puts an arbitrary string and malfunctions.

The WiFi bug in iOS seems to be an alerting issue for Apple. With more and more malformed SSID names are being discovered every day, Apple will have to solve the bug with a future iOS update.