iPhones have a weird Wi-Fi bug

iPhone Wi-Fi

A security researcher has discovered a strange iPhone bug that breaks wireless internet connectivity.

Self-proclaimed reverse engineer Carl Schou found that simply connecting to a network with an SSID containing particular characters "permanently disabled" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality. Although Apple is yet to acknowledge that there is a problem, it has been tested and confirmed by many users.

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Schou found that wireless connectivity broke when connecting to a network called %p%s%s%s%s%n. It is not immediately apparent why this is, but there is speculation that iOS is parsing the name incorrectly, with the letters after the % symbols being read as string-format specifiers.

Schou shared news of his discovery on Twitter:

Although he initially said that Wi-Fi functionality is permanently disabled by the bug, it is in fact possible to reset it by heading to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

The problem exists in at least iOS versions 14.4.2 and 14.6. While not a dangerous bug, it is one that could be exploited to cause disruption is a public network was given the problematic name.

Image credit: By Camilo Concha / Shutterstock

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