Obscure Bug Could Disable the %p%s%s%s%s%n Wi-Fi on Your iPhone or iPad

Originally published at: Obscure Bug Could Disable the %p%s%s%s%s%n Wi-Fi on Your iPhone or iPad - TidBITS

An odd bug in iOS and iPadOS could render your Wi-Fi inoperable if you join an oddly named network.

Quoting from the original article: " … If you are somehow affected by this […] reset all network settings and start over. In Settings, go to General → Reset → Reset Network Settings. This resets all saved Wi-Fi networks on the iPhone (as well as other things like cellular settings and VPN access), thereby removing the knowledge of the malicious network name from its memory."

I heard about this from a friend a few days ago, found the fix noted above and told him ‘Don’t Panic’. :slight_smile:

That works, but unfortunately, it’s a really big hammer for a comparably small nail. It’s essentially an all or nothing approach. What I’d like to see on iOS is something more granular, like on macOS where I can remove individual entries from a list (as done in many other places in iOS) rather than just a single big nuke-it-all button that sets me back hours until I’ve re-entered all my critical networking prefs.

If the problematic SSID is still in range, you can get its info and use the “Forget” button to remove its configuration. Of course, this won’t solve anything if the act of displaying the SSID breaks your networking.

If you can somehow connect to a different SSID to reestablish networking, you can purge network settings from a Mac, which will be synced to your phone via iCloud Keychain.

Unfortunately, there is a newly discovered one that cannot always be recovered with Reset Network Settings. For some people it takes a factory reset.

I believe that I read that the iOS 15 beta is not affected by this/these bugs, so I’m hoping that Apple will be applying a permanent fix to the next release of iOS 14.

Looks like 14.7 might take care of this bug.

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I should hope so. A bug like this should be a 5-second fix followed by a well-deserved face-palm aimed at the developer who created it and everybody who supposedly reviewed the code.

It’s the same as with purging data & history from Safari & DDGo. Unlike with Chrome & Firefox, where doing the data/cookies, history etc, purge allows open tabs & windows to remain, Safari kills all.

There’s now another Wi-Fi network name that’s even a bit nastier. Hopefully, all this will go away shortly with the next iOS update.

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