Dangerous iPhone WiFi mistake that could get you hacked in seconds

A BRITISH cyber security expert has warned of a dangerous setting on your iPhone that leaves you exposed to hackers.

Writing in Forbes over the weekend, Zak Doffman implored users to change the setting – which is switched on by default – as soon as possible.

  • Read all the latest Phones & Gadgets news
  • Keep up-to-date on Apple stories
  • Get the latest on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram

The setting makes your iPhone connect to nearby WiFi routers by default, potentially exposing you to cyber attacks.

The warning from Doffman,  CEO of Brit surveillance tech firm Digital Barriers, follows a spate of recent iPhone vulnerabilities linked to WiFi connections.

WiFi hacks

Earlier this month, a security expert warned of a nasty trick that pranksters could pull to knock your iPhone offline.

Writing on Twitter, researcher Carl Schou revealed that tech savvy rascals could disable any iOS device's WiFi by changing the settings on a nearby router.

Simply switching the name of the network to something with the per cent symbol (%) in it could knock out WiFi on nearby iPhones, he said.

If an iPhone came within range of a network named %secretclub%power, for instance, the device wouldn't be able to use Wi-Fi or related features.

The bug could continue to render WiFi on the device unusable even after resetting network settings, Carl added.

"You can permanently disable any iOS device's WiFI by hosting a public WiFi named %secretclub%power," the researcher wrote.

"Resetting network settings is not guaranteed to restore functionality."

How to stay safe from hackers

  • Protect your devices and networks by keeping them up to date: use the latest supported versions, use anti-virus and scan regularly to guard against known malware threats.
  • Use multi-factor authenticationto reduce the impact of password compromises.
  • Tell staff how to report suspected phishing emails, and ensure they feel confident to do so, investigate their reports promptly and thoroughly.
  • Set up a security monitoring capability so you are collecting the data that will be needed to analyse network intrusions
  • Prevent and detect lateral movement in your organisation’s networks.

The bug has since been fixed by Apple, but it's not the first time WiFi routers have been the source of iPhone controversy.

Just last week, iPhone users were warned that a WiFi flaw could enable a hacker to access their mobiles remotely.

According to mobile security specialist ZecOps, this serious and dangerous “zero-click” flaw was silently embedded into the iOS 14.4 software, which when exploited, contributes to the iPhone hack.

Apple has yet to find a solution to this shocking research that appears to assist hackers in remote code execution and local privilege escalation attacks.

“There’s a new WiFi vulnerability in-town. You probably already saw it, but didn’t realize the implication. The recently disclosed ‘non-dangerous’ WiFi bug is potent,” ZecOps CEO Zuk Avraham says.

“While investigating this vulnerability we found another silently patched format-strings vulnerability that allows an attacker to infect an iPhone or iPad running iOS 14.3 or earlier without any interaction with an attacker.”

“This type of attack is known as 0-click (or zero-click). Exploiting this flaw is possible, and the same technique can be applied to the current unpatched WiFi flaw in iOS 14.6," he added.

How to stay safe

To stay safe from attacks launched through dodgy WiFi routers, Doffman suggested changing the settings on your iOS device.

"You shouldn’t join public Wi-Fi networks even manually, but you should absolutely, categorically, stop your phone auto-joining such networks without you even realizing," he wrote on Saturday.

He said that this setting "is very likely set up by default to do at the moment".

To protect yourself, open up the Settings app and tap "WiFi".

From here go to "Auto-Join Hotspot" and “Ask to Join Networks” and select either "Never", "Ask to Join", "Notify" or "Off".

"If you don’t have multiple networks stored by your device beyond home and work, you can set “Ask to Join Networks” to 'Off' or 'Notify' to avoid having to click when you are at home or work, but then you must click on the blue-circled 'i' next to any other networks you connect to, and disable auto-join," Doffman said.

"You shouldn’t auto-join your local coffee shop’s Wi-Fi, however convenient that might be."

Best Phone and Gadget tips and hacks

Looking for tips and hacks for your phone? Want to find those secret features within social media apps? We have you covered…

  • How to get your deleted Instagram photos back
  • How can I change my Facebook password?
  • How can I do a duet on TikTok?
  • Here's how to use your iPhone's Apple logo as a BUTTON
  • How can I change my Amazon Alexa voice in seconds?
  • What is dating app Bumble?
  • How can I increase my Snapchat score?
  • How can I test my broadband internet speed?
  • Here's how to find your Sky TV remote in SECONDS

In other news, the next iPhone will come in a new pink colour and start at just under £800, according to recent rumours.

Apple has paid millions of dollars to a woman whose explicit videos and images were shared online by people repairing her iPhone.

Spotify has launched a new feature for its Android and iOS apps that spots your favourite artists and gives you a personalised playlist.

And, a rejected Samsung AI assistant is causing a stir on the internet as some fans have created porn starring the cartoon character.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at tech@the-sun.co.uk

    Source: Read Full Article