A couple of days ago, we told you that Apple’s latest iOS 10.3 update was ready and revealed its new features. Now, we can inform you that another bug fix was included in that firmware release. It closes the doors on what was a serious vulnerability. One that has seen someone arrested and unwanted calls made from iOS 10 running iPhones. Here’s everything you need to know.
iOS 10.3 and the 911 Critical iPhone Call Bug
If you do not know, 911 is the phone number people use in the USA to call the emergency services. So, if a crime has been committed, a fire has broken out, or urgent medical attention is required, it’s the number to call.
As vulnerabilities to its iOS platform go, Apple is usually pretty quick at closing them. In fact, over the past few years, this is the reason why jailbreak solutions have been difficult to discover. However, this particular bug has taken it 7-months to fix, which makes it, one of, if not the longest we’ve written about. Regarding how it was discovered, a teenage developer in the USA found it. However, he subsequently, chose to share it online, an action he would later come to regret.
Unwanted 911 Calls
The wood be developer at some point after sharing the bug, was arrested for announcing the bug existed. Apparently, it caused a spike in 911 calls, which ended with a hang-up and no incidents reported. This is of course, dangerous considering it could prevent those who need the aid of law enforcement, or other emergency services from reaching them.
Removing the Bug
Once the 911 call bug revealed itself to be present in iOS 10 and it had the potential to makes iPhone call 911 over and over again. Apple had to be resolute and stop this with a fix, however, as we mentioned earlier, it took 7-months. In that time we’ve seen many updates to the OS, but only now in 10.3 is it fixed.
As for what the bug fix does, Apple has managed to incorporate a new behavior within the firmware. Now, whenever a Facetime, Facetime Audio, or standard call is made by a third-party app. The operating system requires confirmation. Meaning that a user now needs to confirm that a 911 call needs to be made.
On this matter, Apple says:
“The update supersedes that capability and now requires users to always press a second confirmation before initiating a call.”
It now seems that Apple worked long and hard with developers to correct this vulnerability. And this latest update makes sure it can not happen again. In fact, third-party apps that had not already addressed this problem are now prevented from doing this too via the work done by Apple’s developers.
If you have not updated your device to iOS 10.3 yet. You can find out how it compares to 10.2 using the link at the top of this article. We can assure you that it’s got lots of new features and improvements worthy of considering.