Apple’s iOS 14.7 security update includes several patches for different vulnerabilities, including a fix for the Wi-Fi bug discovered a few weeks ago.
The first Wi-Fi bug was found in late June, and a second variant was discovered just a week later in July. In both cases, connecting an iOS or iPadOS device to Wi-Fi networks with specific access point names (%p%s%s%s%s%n and %secretclub%power) would disable Wi-Fi on the device.
The first name isn’t as severe, since users can fix the problem by resetting the network settings on their iPhone or iPad. However, the ‘secretclub’ name appears to permanently disable Wi-Fi and resetting the network settings doesn’t always restore functionality. The only real workaround is factory resetting the device.
For those wondering how a weird Wi-Fi name could completely disable Wi-Fi on an iPhone, it likely has to do with programming language syntax. The short explanation is that when the iOS Wi-Fi system reads the access point name, the format trips up the system. iOS responds by shutting it down, disabling the Wi-Fi. Those interested in learning more can find a more technical explanation here.
Regardless, Apple has issued a fix in iOS and iPadOS 14.7. According to Apple’s security page, the update fixes the issue “with improved checks.” The update is available for iPhone 6s and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, iPad mini 4 and later and iPod touch (7th generation).
Along with the Wi-Fi bug fix, iOS 14.7 includes several issues with the kernel, WebKit, ‘ImageIO,’ Find My, various things related to fonts and more. However, it does not include a fix for the Pegasus spyware that’s been used to surveil journalists and activists.