An Apple HomeKit Bug Can Send iOS Devices Into a Death Spiral

Security researcher Trevor Spiniolas has discovered a vulnerability "capable of locking iOS devices into a spiral of freezing, crashing, and rebooting if a user connects to a sabotaged Apple Home device," reports The Verge. From the report: The vulnerability [...] can be exploited through Apple's HomeKit API, the software interface that allows an iOS app to control compatible smart home devices. If an attacker creates a HomeKit device with an extremely long name -- around 500,000 characters -- then an iOS device that connects to it will become unresponsive once it reads the device name and enter a cycle of freezing and rebooting that can only be ended by wiping and restoring the iOS device. What's more, since HomeKit device names are backed up to iCloud, signing in to the same iCloud account with a restored device will trigger the crash again, with the cycle continuing until the device owner switches off the option to sync Home devices from iCloud. Though it's possible that an attacker could compromise a user's existing HomeKit-enabled device, the most likely way the exploit would be triggered is if the attacker created a spoof Home network and tricked a user into joining via a phishing email. To guard against the attack, the main precaution for iOS users is to instantly reject any invitations to join an unfamiliar Home network. Additionally, iOS users who currently use smart home devices can protect themselves by entering the Control Center and disabling the setting "Show Home Controls." (This won't prevent Home devices from being used but limits which information is accessible through the Control Center.)

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