Teen gets arrested after tweeting a link that forced iPhones to call 9-1-1 over and over

Teen gets arrested after tweeting a link that forced iPhones to call 9-1-1 over and over
Just the other day, a 9-1-1 emergency call center in Surprise, Arizona was inundated with about 100 calls "in a matter of minutes." The phone attack left the operators in danger of being unable to receive and respond to real emergency calls. Detectives traced the fake calls and found that they all came from a link posted on Tweets sent by one Meetkumar Hiteshbhai Desai.

The teen told police that he was taught how to manipulate a bug using JavaScript code to force iOS powered handsets (iPhone models, obviously) to dial phone numbers. Some of the iPhone users affected by this "malicious link" reported their problems on Twitter. One person tweeted that she clicked on a link using her iPhone, and her handset called 9-1-1 19 times.

Desai told the cops that he was merely spreading what he deemed to be a non-harmful, annoying bug that he thought was a barrel of laughs. And he also told cops that he had another link that would not only force an iPhone to call 9-1-1, it would also freeze and reboot the device. For his attempt to prove himself a skilled member of the hacker community, Desai is facing three felony charges.

source: Gizmodo



1. lyndon420

Posts: 6876; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Cool. All iPhones or certain models?

4. miket1737

Posts: 3092; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

iOS itself.. And I don't find this really cool as something like this with infected or bugged iOS or Android devices can wreak havoc on our network infrastructure

35. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's what I was thinking. This could tie up the 911 service at the moment it was really needed. Seconds sometimes count, and I'm sure no one meant to potentially cause any real harm, but don't forward something like this.

9. CellieCell

Posts: 154; Member since: Apr 14, 2010

Interesting article. This is almost as bad as the iOS text that bricks your phone. I guess iOS is not at secured as people make it out to be.

10. miket1737

Posts: 3092; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

I would argue that iOS is infact quite secure for the most part and the ability to push a update out all at once to all eligible iOS devices is really the main reason why

15. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Of courses you would. :-) Just because you can fix a problem fast sometimes, shouldn't be the point. How about this is a flaw that shouldn't be. MAC OSX is the only OS where a script could format the OS while it's running. You can't do that on Windows...EVER! iOS is not more secure than Android. Imagine pushing a text that locked the phone on an endless reboot, until it dies and you also couldn't turn it off. This is a serious flaw

16. miket1737

Posts: 3092; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

Lol get off my dam back sheesh dude you got something to it here, do you think I am some vehement Apple lover or something? Do you think you are objective when it comes to tech stuff? You have not shown that here much at all on this site, dead ass we had our conversations in the past and uh yeah, I think most of PA is aware 80% of people are not even on Marshmallow yet, do you understand the amount of security vulnerabilities out there for hundreds of millions of devices at this moment vs 60% of active iOS user base being on iOS 10 already? "Lurking in the kernel for nine years, flaw gives untrusted users unfettered root access." "Any user can become root in < 5 seconds in my testing, very reliably. Scary stuff." Take a good read at the article. Quadrooter for Android devices? It was patched in September patch but how many are on the September patch? The very recent DRAMMER attack that is a flaw in the memory chip design(DDR in some Android devices) of most Android devices devices? None of the 64 bit ARM Android devices have this vulnerability but devices like the Galaxy S5 and etc have it. "The flaw allows the attackers to target a specific memory chip and thus gaining control of the entire system. Drammer has the potential to put millions of users at risk, especially when combined with existing attack vectors like Stagefright." I can really just go on about the amount of unpatched devices out there still, and the security flaws still present,so uh yes, usually being able to "fix the problem" fast works out much better then not, obviously. Being able to push a update out to your user base same day to all eligible devices works very well when it comes to security at least, monthly updates and etc are absolutely critical in terms of security. And of course this is a serious flaw in iOS, a quite easy flaw too with Javascript in iOS browser, but surely something like this will get patched sooner then later. That was really my premise in my original comment earlier back, that the ability to push out an update to all eligible devices all around the world same day works out much better usually then not, is that logical enough for you?

29. Cicero

Posts: 1148; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Denial after denial. Stick to this problem. It was a bug or not? Accept it. It will happen again. No one is taking away your beloved iphone/ios.

30. miket1737

Posts: 3092; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

What exactly did I deny..? Not once did I deny this serious flaw, but I already did explain well enough my premise, and... it's just a phone dude don't have strange attachments to inanimate objects. To me it's just a device and it isn't my beloved device or beloved OS, I use both iOS and Android heavily and have been doing so for the past 8 years, owning more then 9 devices on both ecosystems and counting. See me as a geniune lover of all tech, I can enjoy both Android and iOS device and other devices, I am not just tied down to one manufacturer for life like you, I can genuinely enjoy a swath of products from all different types of companies. I am just here to open up your closed off simple mind and enlighten you on some news... don't be too salty man lighten up =]

20. miket1737

Posts: 3092; Member since: Mar 17, 2013 Zerodium founder Chaouki Bekrar; "Prices are directly linked to the difficulty of making a full chain of exploits, and we know that iOS 10 and Android 7 are both much harder to exploit than their previous versions," he told Ars. Asked why a string of iOS exploits commanded 7.5 times the price of a comparable one for Android he said: "That means that iOS 10 chain exploits are either 7.5 x harder than Android or the demand for iOS exploits is 7.5 x higher. The reality is a mix of both."

27. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Umm Android currently has the ability to let people gain root access through really easy methods. Even using ultrasound what chromecast uses to connect phones. The beauty is that millions of handsets could be rooted already and no one would know it because what makes rooting unique is full control of the OS and making it seem like things are normal.

25. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

I generally agree, but on the flipside, bugs are also pushed wide, which is why if you need something truly secure you do not want the latest and greatest, but a good bit versions back that have been thoroughly tested and patched by various people.

31. miket1737

Posts: 3092; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

Bugs are always going to be pushed in whatever update in some form even with a ton of testing, it just always happens, on every OS, on many devices. The ability to send out a update instantly is critical in the regard of security and I think Google and Apple understand that fairly well

2. BobLawblaw unregistered

What a bellend of a man..

5. jove39

Posts: 2148; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

There goes so called security of iOS!

14. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

but iOS and OSX get 1st place (in their respective group) in this list last year I'm sure they'll grab 1st place again this year, as the most vurnerable OS, lol....

13. PrYmCHGOan

Posts: 335; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

Imagine this done by say a Russia or Chinese Govt, who would tie up our 911 system in every State so they did cut off our communication. IPhones are so secure. Another thing to add to the listen of things you are forced to do on iOS. Lol but since he hacked, he will get $100k from Apple...riggt? Apple should bail him out and pay him too.

18. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I don't think Apple pays nearly as well as Google for finding security flaws in their OS... which is probably why this issue doesn't impact Android phones.

22. Omran2000

Posts: 101; Member since: Aug 18, 2016

Here is the so-called iOS's security .... The Android is not as "secure" as the iOS , but there is no message that cause your phone to crash and reboot , or a link that forces your smartphone to call a number many times ..... Apple should be renamed as cr@pple ...

23. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

Why should they arrest the teen? iOS getting pranked by a link is just stupid

28. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Good, I hope they throw him prison for five years. People rely on the service for true emergencies, especially the elderly. No one has time to be playing immature games. Imagine you house was on fire, and could not 9-1-1, cause some idiot doesn't have a life.

36. tangbunna

Posts: 491; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

a technology flaw that end up a researcher in jail. lolz. Apple should spend for the fines.

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