Teen hacks iPhones, floods Ariz. dispatch centers

Meetkumar Desai remotely used javascript to cause iOs devices to open popup alerts, apps and place phone calls


By EMS1 Staff

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — A teenager is facing several felony charges after flooding 911 call centers to collect an Apple bug bounty. 

Meetkumar Desai, 18, unleashed chaos last week at numerous call centers after creating an iOS exploit that caused iPhones to dial 911, reported The Register.

Officials said the incident led one police department to be “in immediate danger of losing service” to its 911 call center.

Desai remotely used javascript to cause iOS devices to open popup alerts, apps and place phone calls. He created a code that caused iPhones to dial 911 in an attempt to show the seriousness of the device’s cyber security — and to collect a bug bounty from Apple. Desai and a friend then set up a webpage that exploits the flaws. The pair directed Desai’s Twitter followers to click on a link that triggered the hack. 

Although police managed to take the web server offline to end the floods of calls, Desai said he never meant to make the exploit go live. 

Those who realized their phone had dialed 911 immediately disconnected the calls, but dispatch protocol requires operators to call back.

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