A specially-crafted hotspot can cause big problems for your iPhone or iPad.
Software engineer Carl Schou discovered that a specific network name — %secretclub%power — can completely disable your iPhone’s ability to connect to Wi-Fi. And beware, because things cannot be restored back to normal by rebooting the device or resetting the iPhone’s network settings.
All of this sound vaguely familiar? That’s because only last month, Schou discovered something similar but not as nasty or tricky to fix.
Unlike the previous bug that Schou discovered, recovery from this one isn’t easy. You can’t reset the network settings, and recovery from a backup doesn’t work.
Schou got his Wi-Fi to work by going back to a backup and manually editing the file to remove the malicious network name.
Not something your average user is going to be able to do.
This is an incredibly serious bug because it’s so easy to implement and start causing mayhem.
So, how can you prevent this from happening to you? After all, little stops pranksters — or possibly a hacker using this as a vulnerability to do something more malicious — from setting up Wi-Fi hotspots with this name and no password.
Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and make sure that Auto-Join Hotspots is set to Ask to Join or Never on your iPhone (and iPad).
Do this now.