Be careful what name you use for your Wi-Fi. A researcher has identified a certain string of characters that, when used for a Wi-Fi network name, will completely disable your iPhone’s ability to connect to the web. The revelation comes a few short weeks after another similar Wi-Fi name capable of triggering the bizarre bug was revealed. However, this latest bug is more annoying as there is currently no fix for the Wi-Fi disabling glitch.
In fact, the same researcher uncovered both Wi-FI network names. Both of these completely wreck your iPhone’s ability to connect to the internet. After you connect to the network, your iPhone will immediately reboot itself. When it’s back on, the Wi-Fi toggle in the Settings menu will be switched to “off” and you’ll be left unable to switch it back on.
Tapping the icon works for a second – before it immediately reverts back to the “off” position.
Not only will you be restricted to mobile internet, but since your Wi-Fi is disabled, you’ll lose a number of useful iPhone features, including AirDrop and AirPlay.
Security researcher Carl Schou shared his finding on Twitter, posting that if an iPhone comes into range of a Wi-Fi network named %secretclub%power, you’ll lose the ability to connect to Wi-Fi, stream music over AirPlay, and more. Worse still, the latest bug is even more damaging than the previous discovery by Schou.
While the first Wi-Fi name, %p%s%s%s%s%n, caused the iPhone to reboot and left it unable to connect to the internet… resetting the network settings usually fixed the bug. Of course, that’s an annoying process.
Resetting network settings means you’ll need to enter all Wi-Fi network passwords again.
But the latest Wi-Fi network name – %secretclub%power – can’t be fixed by resetting your network settings. Ouch.
“Seriously, I still don’t have WiFi,” researcher Carl Schou tweeted about the new bug.
Unless you live with the sort of prankster who thinks this would be a fun thing to do… it does seem unlikely that you’ll run across this very often. We’re sure Apple will be working on a fix for this, but in the meantime, it’s worth swerving any Wi-Fi networks with % symbols in their name.