Flipper Zero: the iOS 17.1 update still does not protect the iPhone

Estimated read time 3 min read

Flipper Zero: the iOS 17.1 update still does not protect the iPhone

My iPhone 14 Pro Max running iOS 17.1 crashed in less than three minutes following an attack carried out with a Pinball Zero. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

All eyes are on iOS 17.1, which fixes a series of problems related to the iPhone, be it overheating problems, the strange screen burning problem, or the more obscure nightly restart bug. But there is a problem about which I have been asked the most questions, and which is not solved.

Can we still crash an iPhone with a Pinball Zero? Ummm, yes.

The image above may give the impression that the Pinball Zero must be placed right next to the iPhone to block it. But this is not the case. While taking this photo, I also inadvertently crashed my iPad Pro which was in another room.

An effective attack within a radius of 6 to 9 meters

In fact, I tested the range of this attack and I find that it is effective within a radius of 6 to 9 meters.

It takes about three minutes for an iPhone to restart after a Pinball Zero attack of the BLE Spam lockup crash type (which requires the loading of a third-party software on the Pinball Zero). However, before these three minutes, the device may no longer respond to touch controls and other Bluetooth devices connected to the iPhone may be forced to disconnect and reconnect.

The Pinball Zero attack is not dangerous in terms of material damage or the delivery of a malicious payload. But it is annoying that the iPhone is no longer responding.

A Pinball Zero type attack (BLE Spam lockup crash) is not dangerous in terms of damaging the hardware or delivering a malicious payload, but it is annoying when the iPhone no longer reacts. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

How to avoid the attack?

It is important to note that if the Pinball Zero does not deposit malicious software on the iPhone and does not cause permanent damage, it is a frustrating DoS (denial of service) attack that can annoy the user and make him believe that his iPhone is defective.

What is your defense? The only defense I can offer is the following.

If you notice that your iPhone is doing something strange, turn off Bluetooth – which you can do in two ways.

  • The first is to go to the Control Center and disable it. (With this method, the Bluetooth remains disabled only until the next day. )
  • Or, go to Settings > Bluetooth and toggle the button there.

Then restart the device, as my tests suggest that iPhones become a little unstable after this operation and benefit from a reboot.

To go further on the Pinball Zero

Source: “ZDNet.com “

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