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iPhone crash: This new web-based attack can force restart your phone and iPad

The vulnerability was discovered by a security researcher.

  • Published: September 17, 2018 12:19 PM IST
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Modern-day smartphones may have top-of-the-line hardware and advanced operating systems, but they are not impervious to failures. While hardware-induced issues are not uncommon, most of the times, it’s mostly bugs in the software that cause things to get messed up.

One such bug, recently discovered by a security researcher, can cause iPhones (and iPads) to crash and restart automatically.

According to a report by TechCrunch, the researcher – Sabri Haddouche – demonstrated the issue by putting up a webpage that uses the exploit. Haddouche also tweeted a short video, showing an iPhone crashing and rebooting, after the webpage was opened in Safari.

The TechCrunch report says that the researcher’s code works by exploiting a bug in WebKit, iOS’ rendering engine that’s used by all browsers running on the OS, including Apple’s own Safari.

“Anything that renders HTML on iOS is affected,” Haddouche was quoted by TechCrunch as saying. This essentially means that if someone shares the link to a webpage that exploits the vulnerability, and that linked is clicked on, the device (iPad or iPhone) will crash and restart. Even if a device survives the crash, the bug is still likely to cause the UI to reload.

All said, the good news is that the bug can’t be used to run malware and steal user data.

Watch: Apple Watch Series 4 First Look

In related news, iOS 12, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, is set to begin rolling out to compatible devices in a few hours. The update brings several new features, including stacked notifications, FaceTime calls with up to 32 people at once, and improved app launch times.

  • Published Date: September 17, 2018 12:19 PM IST