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Apple fixed the iPhone’s Flipper Zero problem

Apple fixed the iPhone’s Flipper Zero problem


iPhones running iOS 17.2 no longer crash when hit with a barrage of pop-ups from the Flipper Zero.

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Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Apple has blocked a Bluetooth attack carried out with the Flipper Zero that sent a barrage of pop-ups to iPhones, causing them to lock up and crash. While Apple hasn’t formally announced the change, it appears the company has rolled out a fix in iOS 17.2, according to tests from ZDNET and 9to5Mac.

The attack, which allowed users to crash nearby iPhones running iOS 17.0, involved the Flipper Zero, a tiny, jack-of-all-trades hacking device. A third-party firmware called Flipper Xtreme included a feature that allowed the Flipper’s built-in Bluetooth radio to blast an overwhelming number of Bluetooth alerts to devices.

Until now, the only way to prevent the attacks was to completely disable Bluetooth on the iPhone, but it looks like Apple has finally addressed the vulnerability. When attempting to lock up an iPhone running iOS 17.2 with the Flipper Zero, both ZDNET and 9to5Mac found that only a few pop-ups appeared on the device. Fortunately, the number of notifications wasn’t enough to cause the device to crash.

We still don’t know exactly what Apple did to make the fix, but The Verge reached out to Apple with a request for more information, and we’ll update this article if we hear back. For now, though, it’s a good idea to update your iPhone to iOS 17.2 if you haven’t already.