HomeKit error sends iPhone and iPad to reboot death loop

Beware of random house invitations.
Photo: Apple

A newly discovered bug in the HomeKit can lead to unsuspecting iPhone and iPad users having a device that doesn’t fully respond until it returns. All it takes is for a smart home device to get a super long name.

Once an iOS or iPadOS device is affected, it will constantly freeze and restart. The only way to fix this is to reset your iPhone or iPad to factory settings – and avoid logging in to your iCloud account.

HomeKit error that kills your iPhone and iPad

While it may seem fun to accept a stranger’s invitation to their HomeKit network and mess with their smart devices, there is now a very compelling reason why you should avoid random calls at all costs.

Security researcher Trevor Spiniolas has discovered a rather big bug in Apple’s HomeKit API – a platform that allows the iPhone, iPad and Mac to control smart home devices – which can kill an iOS device.

The error causes the affected device to freeze and then enter the restart loop, which can only be stopped by performing a software reset, when the HomeKit device is given an extremely long name with about 500,000 characters.

What’s more, since HomeKit devices are synced to your iCloud account, signing in with the same details after your device is restored can cause the loop to restart.

It’s easy to avoid

Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to prevent this from happening to you. All you have to do is reject all random calls to HomeKit networks that you do not recognize. You don’t have to completely avoid using HomeKit.

Spiniolas also recommends that you disable “Show Home Controls” in the Control Center (we have a guide on this if you are interested) if you are using iOS 14 to iOS 15.2.

This error was reported to Apple, but “despite the fact that they confirmed the security problem and that I called on them several times in the last four months to take the matter seriously, little has been done,” Spiniolas said.

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Naveen Kumar

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