A Bug Existing Since iOS 13.3.1 Interferes With VPNs Encrypting Traffic

1 minute read
| Product News

There’s a bug that’s been in iOS since version 13.3.1 that prevents VPNs from encrypting network traffic. This means that some connections to the internet can expose your location and IP address.

VPN Bug

  • The bug was disclosed by ProtonVPN.
  • It has been present since at least iOS 13.3.1.
  • Apple has been notified of the issue and is currently looking into a solution.
  • No VPN company can provide a workaround, because iOS restrictions don’t allow a VPN app to stop existing network connections.

The bug was found by a security consultant in the Proton community and disclosed by ProtonVPN. When you connect to a VPN, your device stops all existing connections to the internet and reroute them through the VPN. But with this bug, iOS doesn’t stop existing connections immediately.

Some connections are rerouted through the VPN, but others can persist outside of the encrypted “tunnel” for minutes or hours. One example given is Apple’s push notification system. This means that although you’re connecting to an encrypted VPN connection, some data can be leaked like your location and IP address.

ProtonVPN did share a workaround, although it’s not a complete fix. Connect to any VPN server (the post mentions any ProtonVPN server, but presumably it works with any VPN). Then, turn on AirPlane Mode to force-kill network connections. Last, turn off AirPlane Mode. This should work but there is no 100% guarantee.

The company also mentions that another workaround that Apple recommends is using Always-On VPN, but this is a feature that requires setting up your device with a device management tool like Apple Configurator. However, it still doesn’t stop the problem with third-party VPNs.

Further Reading

[Why is Zoom Sending Our Data to Facebook?]

[Apple Music Shows New Music From Artists in Your Library]

2
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
2 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
1252geoduck Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
1252
Member
1252

Comment deleted by user.

geoduck
Member
geoduck

I heard about this a few weeks ago. It’s a big deal. I’ve been using the connect to VPN-Airplane mode on and off trick for a while, but honestly have never been too sure it was 100% effective. Hope Apple fixes this soon.