Connecting your iPhone to a Wi-Fi network with a percent symbol (%) in the name can completely disable the Wi-Fi in your phone permanently. Rebooting your iOS device won’t fix it, and instead, you’ll have to do some serious troubleshooting or do a full factory data reset and erase your device. Here’s what you need to know.
The bug, spotted by reverse engineer Carl Schou and first reported by Bleeping Computer, shows that if an iPhone connects to a network hotspot named %secretclub%power (or other similar names), you’re in trouble. The bug completely disables Wi-Fi, AirDrop, and all features that rely on Wi-Fi.
You can permanently disable any iOS device's WiFI by hosting a public WiFi named %secretclub%power
Resetting network settings is not guaranteed to restore functionality.#infosec #0day
— Carl Schou (@vm_call) July 4, 2021
Typically, the first step would be to try and reboot your phone, but that doesn’t fix the problem. However, it looks like going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings can fix it, but then you’ll need to reconfigure your network settings. That isn’t a guaranteed fix, either, so we suggest users avoid any Wi-Fi hotspots or networks with the percent symbol in the name.
Additionally, iPhone users can go to Settings > Wi-Fi and make sure that Auto-Join Hotspots is set to Ask to Join or Never. This way, you won’t accidentally connect to a nearby Wi-Fi network with such a name.
Obviously, this type of Wi-Fi name isn’t common, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re somehow affected by this and all else fails, you can try doing a factory data reset. Just keep in mind that a reset will erase everything from your phone.
via The Verge