Home / Tech News / A new CSS-based web attack will crash and restart your iPhone

A new CSS-based web attack will crash and restart your iPhone

A safety researcher has discovered a brand new approach to crash and restart any iPhone — with only a few traces of code.

Sabri Haddouche tweeted a proof-of-concept webpage with simply 15 traces of code which, if visited, will crash and restart an iPhone or iPad. Those on macOS may see Safari freeze when opening the hyperlink.

The code exploits a weak spot in iOS’ net rendering engine WebKit, which Apple mandates all apps and browsers use, Haddouche advised TechCrunch. He defined that nesting a ton of components — similar to <div> tags — inside a backdrop filter property in CSS, you should utilize up the entire gadget’s assets and trigger a kernel panic, which shuts down and restarts the working system to forestall injury.

“Anything that renders HTML on iOS is affected,” he mentioned. That means anybody sending you a hyperlink on Facebook or Twitter, or if any webpage you go to contains the code, or anybody sending you an e-mail, he warned.


TechCrunch examined the exploit operating on the latest cellular software program iOS 11.4.1, and make sure it crashes and restarts the cellphone. Thomas Reed, director of Mac & Mobile at safety agency Malwarebytes confirmed that  the latest iOS 12 beta additionally froze when tapping the hyperlink.

The fortunate whose units received’t crash may see their gadget restart (or “respring”) the person interface as a substitute.

For these curious, you may see how it works with out it operating the crash-inducing code.

The excellent news is that as annoying as this assault is, it may’t be used to run malicious code, he mentioned, that means malware can’t run and knowledge can’t be stolen utilizing this assault. But there’s no straightforward approach to stop the assault from working. One faucet on a booby-trapped hyperlink despatched in a message or opening an HTML e-mail that renders the code can crash the gadget immediately.

Haddouche contacted Apple on Friday in regards to the assault, which is alleged to be investigating. A spokesperson didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

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