What if you connected to a Wi-Fi network with your iPhone and then suddenly found that you no longer had Wi-Fi at all? Your phone completely stopped responding to all wireless activity and features? A certain high-school student in Denmark found out it could happen by simply connecting to a weirdly named network SSID.
The result is exactly that. All wireless activity will cease to exist, including AirPlay, AirDrop, and more. This young researcher who apparently likes to reverse engineer things somehow came across this bug that affects the networking stack of iOS on Apple devices. All you have to do is connect to a network named “%p%s%s%s%s%n” and the bug kicks right into play. Rebooting the device won’t solve the problem either.
Thankfully, the effect is not permanent and the device can be brought back from its Wi-Fi death. You do so by visiting General, Reset, and then Reset Network Settings. This will dump everything saved on the phone for known Wi-Fi networks. The device is safe and brought right back into action. Of course, you now have to re-add your favorite networks and passwords everywhere you go. So I wouldn’t go rushing off to try this yourself anytime soon. Hopefully, this will be an easy fix for Apple in the near future.
After joining my personal WiFi with the SSID “%p%s%s%s%s%n”, my iPhone permanently disabled it’s WiFi functionality. Neither rebooting nor changing SSID fixes it :~) pic.twitter.com/2eue90JFu3
— Carl Schou (@vm_call) June 18, 2021