Apple fixes flaw that caused iPhones to repeatedly dial 911

A new report from The Wall Street Journal highlights that iOS 10.3 fixes a flaw we initially covered back in October that caused iOS devices to repeatedly call 911.

The flaw was discovered by an 18-year old who found a way to use Javascript to remotely cause iOS devices to open popup alerts, open apps, and make phone calls. In an effort to show the seriousness of the problem, he created a code that caused iPhones to dial 911 repeatedly. All in all, he ended up being arrested and charged with four counts of computer tampering after causing thousands of accidental 911 calls.

Apple may have closed off the issue that caused this specific attack, but 911 systems remain surprisingly vulnerable to brute force overloads. As noted by The Wall Street Journal, there are 6,500 911 call centers in the US, but only 420 of them are part of a cybersecurity defense program. The Department of Homeland Security has been working on ways to prevent and defend against these types of brute force attacks, but they haven’t come up with a solution just yet. As for Desai, he claims that he released the code by accident, but that doesn’t change the very real harm his prank caused.

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