An unusual bug is currently interrupting the Wi-Fi connections of iPhones. Fortunately, if your phone is affected, it’s easy to avoid – and fix – but damn it, that’s weird. In short, if for some reason your iPhone connects to a WiFi network called “% p% s% s% s% s% n”, the device’s WiFi will stop working. So don’t do that.
Security researcher Carl Shou first identified the bug and posted the discovery on Twitter. Several other users followed up with their own tests that confirmed the problem. In any case, the network name alone broke the WiFi functions of your iPhone and prevented them from connecting to other networks. Worse still, the testers found that the error persists even after restarting an affected iPhone.
Oddly enough, this bug has no effect on other network functions like bluetooth or cellular data. The connection to the so-called WLAN network under Android also has no effect; The error appears to be either in the iOS operating system or in the iPhone’s hardware, but no one has yet figured out why this particular SSID is interrupting the iPhone’s WiFi functions.
Fortunately, if your iPhone ran into it, the problem can be easily fixed: just go to Settings> General> Reset and choose Reset network settings. This will delete all saved WiFi connection information, so you will have to set up a new connection the next time you reconnect to a secure network, but it will also immediately undo the error.
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While the WiFi error is easy to fix, it’s more complicated to prevent it.
Of course, avoid connecting to networks or call your home WiFi “% p% s% s% s% s% n” and warn others if you notice public WiFi spots using that particular SSID. However, like our buddies at Gizmodo point this out, it is possible that other seemingly harmless network IDs could cause the same malfunction. That leaves iPhone owners open to trolls, malicious actors, or even unsuspecting users who accidentally give their public WiFi connection an incorrect name. So, in general, avoid networks with many “%” symbols in their names and notify the administrator of a network if you encounter the error after connecting to a public network.
If the bug is widespread enough, Apple will likely release a patch to fix it. Of course, it is also possible that this problem cannot be fixed – and even if so, it is the responsibility of each user to protect their devices in the meantime.