As per security researcher Carl Schou, this bug affects both iPhones and iPads. The moment you select a WiFi connection with the name “%p%s%s%s%s%n”, your iPhone or iPad will stop connecting to WiFi altogether. Also, this bug affects AirDrop’s functioning. If you restart your iPhone, after connecting to this WiFi network, even then the problem continues to exist and your iPhone and iPad will lose the ability to connect to any WiFi network.
After joining my personal WiFi with the SSID “%p%s%s%s%s%n”, my iPhone permanently disabled it’s WiFi functionality… https://t.co/CxDhWA9nyh
— Carl Schou (@vm_call) 1624036593000
Thankfully, there’s a solution to this and if you are a victim of your friend’s then you can restore your iPhone or iPad without visiting the service centre or spending any money. All you need to do is to reset the network settings. Inside the Settings menu, go to General> Reset> Reset Network Settings.
The reason as to why this WiFi particular name conks off your iPhone or iPads ability to connect to WiFi may be due to the fact that ‘%character’ syntax is used to format variables into an output string in programming languages. Due to an unpatched bug in iOS, this name with % sign is causing memory corruption.
It is expected that Apple may solve this issue in future software updates. Until then, it’s a good idea to avoid WiFi networks with % signs for Apple devices.