Researchers at the RSA conference explained about a newly found vulnerability that allows attackers to crash just about any iOS device.
San Francisco: Researchers from Skycure security firm revealed vulnerability “No iOS Zone” yesterday at the RSA security conference.
This vulnerability allows cybercriminals crash just about any iOS device that comes within a WiFi hotspot range.
They acknowledged the fact that this happens regardless if you have deliberately connected or not.
The vulnerability is caused by an iOS 8 bug, which manipulates SSL certificates that are sent to iOS devices via a network.
These certificates are basically needed in every app but according to research team at RSA, the bug can facilitate crashing of any iOS device.
Moreover, the team revealed that in worst scenario, it can even put the devices into a continuous boot-loop.
Initially, the vulnerability seems harmless since it relies upon bad SSL certificates that are sent to you. If you don’t connect to any random WiFi hotspot, you won’t get into trouble.
Trouble however arises when the SSL certificate flaw gets combined with an older exploit, which researchers have named WiFiGate.
Thus, the team identified that iOS devices have been programmed by carriers in a way that these get automatically connected to specific networks.
For instance, AT&T customers’ iOS device will auto-connect to any network named “attwifi.”
Therefore, there is simply no way to avoid getting connected to random WiFi networks.
Resultantly, Skycure team was able to create a tainted Wi-Fi hotspot that any iOS device in the nearest vicinity could connect to and later crash and become useless. Since the device gets stuck in a constant boot-loop, it becomes very difficult to disable Wi-Fi and evade the attacker’s network.
In the presentation from the Skycure research team, it was pointed out that the vulnerability can render any iOS device useless in a specific location.
Apple is cooperating with the research team to fix this issue. However, full details of their attack haven’t been revealed but it is apparent that theoretically every iOS device is vulnerable now.