Every now and again someone spots a weird iPhone bug that blows up your phone with a random text message or video, and we have another one. Carl Schou on Twitter has discovered a very specific Wi-Fi network that will completely bork your phone’s all-important Wi-Fi functionality.
Like the Power iMessage bug from a few years back, this isn’t something you should worry about doing accidentally or even as a prank. It’s not clear if other network names are affected, but Schou specifically connected to the network SSID %p%s%s%s%s%n before his phone wigged out.
As you can see in the tweet above, connecting to the network triggers a never-ending loop of connecting and disconnecting that won’t allow you to connect to a network and will presumably only be fixed with a factory reset. Schou says “Neither rebooting nor changing SSID fixes it.” Granted, it’s very unlikely to ever appear in your network list even if someone is trying to mess with you. The only real way to pull off this as a prank is for one of your friends to change their SSID to the above string of characters—but they’d also be nuking their own phone.
But as a PSA, don’t connect to this network if you see it appear on your iPhone. And as a matter of course, don’t connect to any open network that appears on your phone as you could be inviting far bigger problems than this.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.