Apple Fixes Bug Allowing Flipper Zero to Lock Up iPhones

With the launch of iOS 17.2, Apple has fixed an exploit that allowed the Flipper Zero electronic multi-tool to lock up iPhones, reports ZDNET.

zdnet flipper zero iphone attack

Image via ZDNET

The Flipper Zero is a device that can interact with other electronics. It can emulate, read, and copy RFID and NFC tags, digital access keys, remotes, and more. Its capabilities allow it to unlock cars, skim RFID chips, and do other nefarious things, such as spamming iPhones.

Running third-party firmware from Xtreme, the Flipper Zero was able to use a BLE Spam app to create a huge number of Apple TV Keyboard popups on an iPhone, causing the device to lock up. As ZDNET puts it, Flipper Zero was able to perform a denial of service (DoS) attack on all iPhones in a 30-foot radius of the attacker.

Restarting the ‌iPhone‌ was able to fix the issue, but it was still an annoyance. Following the iOS 17.2 update, ZDNET found that an ‌iPhone‌ running the software was not able to be exploited by the Xtreme firmware. Popups still appear, but not a deluge of popups capable of disabling an ‌iPhone‌.

iOS 17.2 was released earlier this week and is recommended for all devices capable of running iOS 17. It includes the Journal app and multiple new features for Messages, Apple Music, Weather, and other apps.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Related Forums: iOS 17, iPadOS 17

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Top Rated Comments

macduke Avatar
26 weeks ago

Wow, this device could be really useful for my [S]crimes[/S] hobbies. ?

I highly doubt MR wants to get blamed considering idiots are using these to steal cars and break into things..
People need to understand something: This device puts into one device technology that has been used by everyone from criminals to governments (is there a difference? lol), in some instances for decades. This device existing and being so easy to use and combining so many tools together will be better for all of us in the long-run, because manufacturers will patch security holes and update their hardware over time to prevent these exploits. There is a lot of lax security out there that relies on simple radio communication.

By taking it from the hands of the few and putting it into the hands of the many, we all become safer because companies are actually forced to do something about this. This is no different than someone like The Lock Picking Lawyer, who sells lock picking kits through his business Covert Instruments and has a popular YouTube channel where he shows the flaws in various locks. Consumers are empowered to buy things that are more secure in the long run, and penetration testing has always been a thing since the invention of the door and extends to all modern devices.

At the end of the day bad guys are always gonna bad guy. People thought they were secure because they didn't know they weren't until now. We shouldn't penalize the company making these tools, we should penalize the companies selling garbage systems that are so easy to hack into or overload. Someone will always make these tools, whether in their basement, or in some NSA lab or corporate espionage operation.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
t0rqx Avatar
26 weeks ago

Just search for it? LOL.
Usually with these articles they put a ad-link for some revenue.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VisceralRealist Avatar
26 weeks ago
Wow, this device could be really useful for my [S]crimes[/S] hobbies. ?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
foobarbaz Avatar
26 weeks ago

Oh good, another tool for criminals.
Do you say the same thing when you see a screwdriver? ;)
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarAnalogy Avatar
26 weeks ago

Why would you want to make people's lives unpleasant?
I didn’t do it to anyone else. All devices involved belong to me.

Also the device is useful for other things. It can be easily used for abuse but it can also be used for lots of cool stuff for personal, non abusive uses. It can be used as a remote shutter for the iPhone camera via Bluetooth, for example.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
t0rqx Avatar
26 weeks ago
Where do you buy this flipper
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)