More Problems for iPhone and iPad Users
Setting date to 1 January 1970 will kill devices
Another flaw has been discovered in the operating system of Apple mobile devices, and this time ruthless trolls on 4Chan.org have exploited the gullibility of some owners. By setting the date of any iPhone 5S or newer, the iPad Air, iPad mini 2 or the 2015 sixth generation iPod touch or newer, to 1 January 1970, the device locks beyond repair, or ‘bricks’.
To manually set an iPhone to a different date is fairly difficult, and the chances of doing so accidentally are extremely slim. The devices set date using networks by default, so the greatest security threat is from hackers taking over a WiFi network, where in theory they would be able to brick all vulnerable devices.
However, when the problem was exposed yesterday, trolls on 4Chan.org mocked up an Apple advertisement, claiming that changing the date would make the phone “warp back in time with a classic Macintosh theme”. People who fell for the ‘joke’ filled message boards with angry warnings.
Others claimed to have changed the date settings on devices in Apple stores, again leaving them useless. Apple is investigating the bug.