A new prank, nuisance and/or malicious attack on user hardware has emerged for 64bit iPhones and iPads that involves changing the date. Rolling it back all the way to the 1st January 1970 puts many modern iPhones into an infinite boot loop which many users have found it hard to recover from.
Affected iPhones include the 5S or newer, iPad Air or newer, iPad Mini 2 or newer and the sixth generation iPod and its contemporaries. The software flaw in this case was discovered (or at least popularised) by Redditors and can can be seen in action below. There are have been some reports of users in Apple stores setting the devices to the date in question, causing much annoyance for Apple staff.
Fortunately, as it stands forcing this boot-loop on devices requires several minutes of hard-access to the device, as you need to manually roll the date that far back. However one concern is that when iPhones use Wi-Fi to calibrate time based off of an NTP server, it could be possible to reset user clocks that way, sending their phones into the loop next time they restart (as per Ars).[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY-ahR1R6IE’]
At least if that happens though, there is a fix going around. Although wiping data or performing a factory reset doesn’t do anything to fix the problem, killing the battery will. Either disconnecting it or de-charging it will cause the phone’s on-board date to reset, kicking it out out of the boot loop.
Apple staff at stores are expected to be aware of the fix at this point, so should be able to help anyone that’s run into the problem. However it’s hoped that Apple will come up with a software fix for the flaw in the near future.
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KitGuru Says: Although we can’t promise they won’t be annoyed with you, this isn’t a terrible prank to play on your friend who won’t get off of their phone.