Latest iOS 14.7 Beta Patches Bug That Disables iPhone's Ability to Connect to Wi-Fi

The latest beta for iOS and iPadOS 14.7, released to developers this week, patches a bug that disabled an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi if a user connected to a specific Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n."

ios wifi settings
In his latest video rounding up the latest changes in the beta, YouTuber Zollotech found that the update has silently patched the bug that caused an iPhone to become unable to connect to Wi-Fi networks.

The bug was discovered on Twitter last month and consisted of an ‌iPhone‌ connecting to a Wi-Fi SSID with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n." According to user reports, doing so would "permanently disable" an ‌iPhone‌'s Wi-Fi functionality, making the bug rather dangerous.

While some have claimed the bug "permanently" disabled their ‌iPhone‌'s Wi-Fi, other users found that resetting their network settings after connecting to the network restored Wi-Fi for the ‌iPhone‌.

Apple has been testing iOS and iPadOS 14.7 with developers and public beta testers for the past few weeks. Apple can be expected to publicly release the update soon, given the crucial bug fix that it provides to ‌iPhone‌ user.

Last month, Apple previewed iOS 15, the next major update to iOS destined for a public launch this fall. The upcoming update to iOS 14 will likely be the last major update to the operating system ahead of ‌iOS 15‌'s fall release.

Top Rated Comments

CarlJ Avatar
14 months ago
Sigh. Never use data from external sources without sanitizing it first, and never hand arbitrary data to printf and friends as a template string - sure, it'll work most of the time... but then this.

This is not esoteric guru stuff, it's programming 101 (okay, maybe 201).
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeepIn2U Avatar
14 months ago

COVID will never truly go away, just getting controlled. Just saying.

As for “dangerous”, if a mere resetting network setting could fix it, then it is not so “dangerous”. Inconvenient sure but “dangerous” is slightly over the board.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2021/07/06/apple-iphone-wifi-security-hack-ios-iphone-upgrade/?sh=4351967e2b86


The Increased Damage

The first development came via Carl Shou, the reverse engineer who initially discovered the hack ('https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2021/06/20/apple-iphone-warning-wifi-vulnerability-exploit-new-iphone-problem/'). Shou found that joining WiFi networks with specific symbols in their name (SSID) could disable any iPhone’s WiFi until the phone’s network settings were reset. Shou has subsequently managed to increase the damage this hack does ('https://twitter.com/vm_call/status/1411630091038203909'), with WiFi only being restored from a custom factory reset where the iPhone backup file is manually edited to remove malicious entries ('https://twitter.com/vm_call/status/1411753482437148683').


Fears had already been expressed ('https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2021/07/03/apple-iphone-security-warning-airborne-attack-threat-new-iphone-exploit/') that this hack - known as a format string flaw - could be amplified. The end game being to use it to inject and execute malicious code onto devices and even whole networks.

The Hidden Threat

The flip side to this escalating threat, was that iPhone owners would have to join a strangely named WiFi network to be hacked. But the second development suggests this may no longer be the case.
originally reported from above link:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2021/07/03/apple-iphone-security-warning-airborne-attack-threat-new-iphone-exploit/?sh=820e3d454ae9


Following revelations last month that all iPhones are vulnerable to a simple WiFi hack ('https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2021/06/20/apple-iphone-warning-wifi-vulnerability-exploit-new-iphone-problem/'), new research ('https://www.aireye.tech/post/the-apple-format-string-bug-from-a-silly-prank-to-an-airborne-attack') from Amichai Shulman, CTO of wireless security specialist AirEye, has claimed this type of threat is potentially more dangerous than was first reported and can also spread to macOS.


“Our response research on the format string flaw revealed that the vulnerability is not only restricted to the iOS operating system,” states Shulman. “It also has the potential to affect the macOS operating system used by many corporations for employee stations.”


“The nature of format string vulnerabilities is that when carefully crafted they can be used to write arbitrary code into random, or chosen, parts of a machine’s memory - and even eventually inject and execute code,” Shulman explains. “Since it is possible for the vulnerable iOS and macOS devices to be connected to the larger corporate network, this code can eventually be used for lateral movement even if it only stemmed from an employee accidentally joining an unknown SSID. Once the malicious code has infiltrated a device on the network, it can exploit corporate data without the need to ‘access the network first’ in the typical ways.”
I'd say it's dangerous enough for Apple to consider it important to patch.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
14 months ago
Hopefully it’s out in public next week.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
polyphenol Avatar
14 months ago
Saved! I really don't know how I have survived with that bug in 14.6.

Yes - I do realise some people might really have a problem but I suspect the other things in 14.7 are likely far more important to the majority.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
14 months ago

My setting will ASK if I want to join any unknown WIFI, so in theory, My phone should be save from this big … yes?
As long the phone prompts for a reply and you don't mess up the reply, you should be fine. The chances of you coming across a public WiFi name that messes up your phone is less than a percent, in my opinion.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shirasaki Avatar
14 months ago

No this is actually quite important! Glad Apple coding team has made fast work of this - considering more and more of us are now fully able to explore our communities and world again. buy-bye pandemic.
COVID will never truly go away, just getting controlled. Just saying.

As for “dangerous”, if a mere resetting network setting could fix it, then it is not so “dangerous”. Inconvenient sure but “dangerous” is slightly over the board.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
sengled tv light strip

CES 2022: Sengled Debuts New Smart TV Light Strips and Outdoor String Lights

Monday January 3, 2022 8:02 am PST by
Lighting company Sengled today announced the launch of several new smart lighting products, including Wi-Fi Video-Sync TV Light Strips, Wi-Fi Outdoor String Lights, and the Wi-Fi Portable Lamp. The WiFi TV Light Strips are designed to extend what's showing on the television set to the wall behind it for a more immersive entertainment experience. The lights are designed to react to content...
iPad Pro Deals Feature Yellow

Deals: Take Up to $150 Off 2021 iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and iPad in Latest Sales

Wednesday March 9, 2022 8:31 am PST by
In the wake of Apple's announcement of a new iPad Air at yesterday's "Peek Performance" event, today we're tracking numerous deals across the iPad family lineup. This includes deals on the 2021 iPad Pro, iPad, and iPad mini 6, with a few all-time low prices across these sales. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small ...
10

Deals: Get Apple's 256GB Wi-Fi iPad for Record Low Price of $449

Wednesday February 9, 2022 7:00 am PST by
Amazon today has Apple's 256GB Wi-Fi iPad for $449.00 in both Silver and Space Gray, down from $479.00. This sale represents a match of the all-time low price on this model of the 2021 10.2-inch iPad. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The iPad is ...
Apple Logo Cash Feature Yellow

Apple's $1.1 Billion Patent Dispute With Caltech Granted New Damages Trial

Friday February 4, 2022 7:27 am PST by
Apple and its supplier Broadcom today convinced a U.S. appeals court to reject a jury verdict that required them to pay $1.1 billion for infringing on Wi-Fi patents that belong to the California Institute of Technology (via Reuters). In 2016, Caltech accused Apple and Broadcom of infringing on its patents related to the Wi-Fi technology used in many Apple devices. Caltech's patents, granted...
ipad air arrive feature 60 OFF

Deals: Get Apple's 64GB Wi-Fi iPad Air for $539 ($60 Off)

Thursday March 3, 2022 6:46 am PST by
Today we're tracking a discount on Apple's 2020 64GB Wi-Fi iPad Air, available for $539.00, down from $599.00. This sale is available in Space Gray, Green, and Sky Blue. All models are in stock and shipped directly from Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
image 40

iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 Allow You to Restore an Apple Watch Using an iPhone

Monday March 14, 2022 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple today published a new support document indicating that iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 allow an Apple Watch to be restored with a nearby iPhone. The support document states that if an Apple Watch running watchOS 8.5 or later displays an animation showing an Apple Watch and iPhone being brought close together, customers can follow the steps below to initiate the restore process:1. Make sure...

Popular Stories

cook sept 2020 event

Gurman: Apple Preparing Pre-Recorded iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 Event

Sunday August 7, 2022 6:13 am PDT by
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
Apple Watch Series 7 Starlight Midnight

Standard Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature Same Design as Series 7

Friday August 5, 2022 7:46 am PDT by
The standard 41mm and 45mm models of the Apple Watch Series 8 will feature the same design as the Apple Watch Series 7, according to Twitter user @ShrimpApplePro, who was first to reveal that iPhone 14 Pro models would feature a new pill-and-hole display. Titanium will not be an option for the standard Apple Watch Series 8 models either, according to @ShrimpApplePro, but Bloomberg's Mark...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...
ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, XS and XS Max, and...
iphone 14 pro max camera bump compared lipilipsi 16 9

Bigger iPhone 14 Pro Max Camera Bump Shown Alongside iPhone 13 Pro Max

Monday August 8, 2022 4:33 am PDT by
The camera bump on the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro Max is expected to be the largest rear lens housing Apple has ever installed on its flagship smartphones, and a new photo offers a rare glimpse at just how prominent it is compared to Apple's predecessor device. iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy (left) vs iPhone 13 Pro Max All iPhone 14 models are expected to see upgrades to the Ultra Wide camera on the...
ipad pro magic keyboard white

Rumor Claims Next iPad Pro to Feature New Four-Pin Smart Connector

Sunday August 7, 2022 11:57 am PDT by
A new rumor claims that the next-generation 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro will feature a new four-pin Smart Connector, an update from the current three-pin connector in the iPad Pro. The rumor from Mac Otakara, citing "reliable sources," says that the next iPad Pro, expected to debut possibly as soon as this fall, will feature a new Smart Connector that has four-pins rather than three. The...