The ‘WiFi Broadcast Packet of Death’

A Google security researcher found bugs that allowed him to take over nearby iPhones with a Raspberry Pi and just $100 in WiFi gear.

Ian Beer, one of the best hackers on the planet, found a way to hack and take full control of any nearby iPhone with what many in the security industry believe is one of the most impressive iPhone hacks ever. Beer was able to develop a technique to send an exploit via WiFi that requires no user interaction at all, and doesn’t even need the target to be connected to the internet. In other words, if your iPhone was in range of someone with this capability, they could take it over without requiring you to click on a dodgy link or anything like that. What’s worse, Beer’s exploit could have been made into a worm, meaning it could propagate to nearby iPhones automatically, spreading exponentially, kind of like—if you’ll allow me the cringey metaphor—a cyber coronavirus.

Chris Evans, Project Zero’s original team leader, wrote that “there’s something hauntingly beautiful watching all these iPhones die at slightly different times, as they get a WiFi broadcast packet of death.”

And there truly is, just take a look at the short video above, or a longer version below, which Beer made himself to showcase how his exploit works.

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