The iPhone 911 bug can force the handset to repeatedly call 911 without any user interference. In October 2016, a teenager was arrested for spreading a malicious link on Twitter that forced iPhones to repeatedly call 911. The steps required to reproduce the bug has now been surfaced on the web.
The iPhone 911 bug kicks off after you click a link that forces an iPhone to dial a pre-defined number such as 911. It then refreshes the page or opens several apps. This will cause freezing of the user interface. Hence, you will not be able to cancel the call.
If the malicious link has been widely distributed over Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp or any other messaging platform, it will cause a huge amount of problem. This is because 911 call centers will receive unlimited calls. As a user, you will not be able to know that 911 center has been called. If you clicked on the malicious link then it’s almost certain that 911 have been alerted.
According to a statement issued by Maricopa County Sheriff’s office, a teenager from Arizona was arrested when his local 911 call center received a hundred calls in a matter of minutes. Based on the iPhone 911 effect, authorities in California and Texas were also affected to a large extent.
To recall, Apple had already fixed the bug long time ago when iOS 3 was released. However, the bug fix provided by Apple was only applicable to Safari. The company didn’t issue any patches for the browser, which operate from within Twitter or LinkedIn. The teenager allegedly took advantage of this fault, which will provide fatal if not fixed.
Responding to media, Collin Mulliner, the researcher who unravelled the most recent occurrence of the iPhone 911 bug has already submitted the details to Apple. We expect a patch to be issued in the upcoming update. Mulliner added that if the bug is not fixed then it will lead to adverse consequences in the future.