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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

A flaw in the way iOS apps handle secure connections could let hackers crash any affected app at will via an infected Wi-Fi network, and eventually the phone itself will succumb. The bug uses the Secure Socket Layer (SSL), a standard protocol used by apps and websites to securely transfer data, from credit card numbers to private messages. It's widely used and the problem appears to be with iOS, not SSL itself, according to cybersecurity firm Skycure, which discovered the issue after a wireless router caused spontaneous crashes on all nearby iOS devices.

Skycure researchers traced the problem to a specific bit of SSL traffic that, for some reason or another, does not play well with Apple's mobile operating system. If an iOS device connects to a network sending out these toxic SSL packets, any apps that use it (and many do by default) will crash — and before long, the phone itself will get stuck in a loop of crashing and restarting.

What's the solution? Well, until Apple fixes the problem, all you can do is turn off Wi-Fi or physically move out of the infected network's range. Fortunately, there's no indication that this bug is out in the wild, and Skycure has disclosed all the relevant info to Apple, so you can expect a patch to appear fairly soon.



--Devin Coldewey