Another embarrassing problem for Apple iOS mobile devices (iPhone and iPad), setting the date of the devices to January 1st, 1970 will brick them. Don’t Try it!
Another embarrassing problem for Apple iOS mobile devices, a software flaw could be exploited to permanentlykill your iPhone, iPad or iPod. The issue affects the Apple iOS date and time system and could be triggered by setting the date to January 1, 1970. The news appeared recently in Reddit discussions warning users about a flaw that could brick iPhone forever, and the presence of the flaw has been confirmed by iClarified.
“Setting the date of your iPhone to January 1st, 1970 will brick your device, according to users across the web and confirmed by iClarified. The bug will affect any 64-bit iOS device that is powered by the A7, A8, A8X, A9, and A9X. 32-bit iOS devices are reportedly not affected by this issue.” reported iClarified.
Meanwhile on Reddit the users warned other Apple users sharing the following message:“When the date of a 64-bit iOS device is set to January 1, 1970, the device will fail to boot. Connecting the device to iTunes and restoring the device to factory defaults will not put the device back in working order. Instead, a physical repair is required. When connected to public Wi-Fi, iPhone calibrates its time settings with an NTP server. Theoretically, attackers can send malicious NTP requests to adjust every iPhone’s time settings to January 1, 1970, hence brick every iPhone connected to the same network.According to /u/sarrius, worldwide Apple Store are being made aware that disconnecting the battery and reconnecting fixes the issue. It should be common knowledge to all stores worldwide by tomorrow.”
Be careful and do not try to trigger the flaw with your iOS device, the YouTuber Zach Straley first published a Video PoC of the issue.
As explained in the video, after set up the date to January 1, 1970, trying to reboot the device users will notice that the iPhone or iPad will no longer boot and will be frozen displaying the Apple logo.
“Since a DFU or recovery mode restore will not unbrick your device, we strongly recommend that you do not try to test this bug. Users report that while a restore may succeed, the device will still fail to boot after the restore.” continues iClarified.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.