The No iOS Zone lets attackers remotely crash any iPhone or iPad in wi-fi range.
The researchers recently found a new bug in iOS 8, which allows attackers to force iPhones and iPads into restart loops through an ordinary Wi-Fi network. Once the victim enters the so-called “no iOS Zone”, nothing will help their phone other than escaping the range of the malicious network. The device will repeatedly reboot and crash almost immediately.
he attack is based on a specially crafted SSL certificate, which is normally used to ensure a secure connection. This certificate triggers a bug in the OS that crashes out any app using SSL. The researchers created a script that can exploit the bug over a network interface. It was clear that any delay in patching the vulnerability might lead to a serious business impact and big losses.
The matter is that aside from crashing individual applications, the bug can also crash the iOS and even worse – under certain conditions, the devices can get into a repeatable reboot cycle. Even if the device owner realizes that the attack comes from a Wi-Fi network, they can’t help it, because the Wi-Fi interface can’t be disabled due to the repeated restart state.
If combined with another bug named “Wi-Figate”, which allows to force a device to automatically connect to a given Wi-Fi network, the attackers can deny service to any iOS attack in a given area. In other words, victims in range won’t be able to do anything about it. Such an attack, when launched at the largest airports or utility plants, may have catastrophic results.
The researchers announced that Apple has already received the warning of the bug and refused to release any technical details before a patch to fix the vulnerability is issued.