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Security Bug IOS Apple

Apple's iOS 9 Breaks VPNs 88

An anonymous reader writes with a report from The Stack that researchers have discovered a crucial security problem in the latest version of iOS 9: it breaks VPN connections to corporate servers. According to the linked piece, "The flaw was first detected in the iOS 9 beta, and has not been fixed in the released version. Neither has the bug been removed in the current iOS 9.1 beta." The workaround might not be what you want to hear, either, if you've happily upgraded to the latest version: it's to downgrade to iOS 8.4.1.
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Apple's iOS 9 Breaks VPNs

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 21, 2015 @12:23PM (#50567223)

    All the C-levels will be disconnected so we can get work done.

    And here I thought Apple was a true business player.

  • Source control? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @12:26PM (#50567251) Homepage
    What bothers me most about things like this is trying to relate it back to what is supposed to have changed in the latest versions. I can't think of anything in iOS 9 that should have touched code like this, which makes me wonder about the state of source control.

    Happy to be wrong, but Apple have had a few regression-type bugs before which again make me think their branching/merging strategies may not quite be up to snuff. Would like to be wrong though - anyone know of a changed area in iOS 9 that would have necessitated playing with something like this?
    • Re:Source control? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @12:34PM (#50567327) Journal
      Even if they had good reason to poke at this, or rewrite it from the ground up(because discoveryd was totally cooler and better than old-and-busted mdnsresponder, so why stop there?) what possible excuse is there for "This update breaks VPNs" to not be treated as an absolute showstopper? That's the sort of attitude that just doesn't cut it outside the realm of pitiful consumer crap.
      • Re:Source control? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @01:00PM (#50567559) Homepage

        what possible excuse is there for "This update breaks VPNs" to not be treated as an absolute showstopper

        This is what happens when you try to make a software update part of a hardware roll-out. They have hardware that they want to ship at a specific date, but haven't had any chance to get the software tested out in a while. They basically had to release iOS 9 even though they knew there was bugs because it was necessary for the new iPad and iPhone models.

        • what possible excuse is there for "This update breaks VPNs" to not be treated as an absolute showstopper

          This is what happens when you try to make a software update part of a hardware roll-out. They have hardware that they want to ship at a specific date, but haven't had any chance to get the software tested out in a while. They basically had to release iOS 9 even though they knew there was bugs because it was necessary for the new iPad and iPhone models.

          You mean for publicity? I am sure iOS8 works fine on the new devices. The problem is that they promise a new version every year, and not releasing one would look bad.

          • The problem is that they promise a new version every year, and not releasing one would look bad.

            So just change the 8 to a 9 and make a subtle graphic change and call it a day. I mean Chrome goes through something like 20 versions a month and doesn't seem to have changed in the past few years.

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            It works fine, but without any of the support for the new hardware features or the new OS features that are supposed to work with the new hardware features.

            AFAICT, the new hardware basically requires a pretty significant OS revision. To be sure, a lot of the changes (like the "task manager" view which now shows a less convenient overlapping page view of existing open apps) seem purely for cosmetics.

          • More like corporate source control. As ubiquitous as mobile devices are, it no longer a given that people will "play nice". To protect the corporate data infrastructure, All mobile devices must have certain limitations, except of course, for those special people, that can make things disappear real quickly.
      • When iOS 8 was released, people noticed straight away that images couldn't be uploaded to web sites. As in, multipart-encoded image data included in a web form was just stripped away.

        My reaction was, "How could such a show-stopping lack of QA be allowed to happen at all, let alone WHY it happened?"

        The reaction from many of my peers on DeviantArt and other art-related web sites, upon realizing the couldn't upload their art, was, "Oh, I'm sure it'll be fixed soon. No big deal."

    • Maybe the integration of a security patch or more important features that caused this. After all, they knew about the issue at launch so there's most probably a reasonable reason for the bug. In addition is appears only specific network configurations will cause the issue to occur.

      Because I lack large dev team branching/merging experience, it's hard for me to understand where they could have gone wrong. To me having a branch that makes things work doesn't reverse the fact that another feature may be more im

    • They added support for different types of VPNs.

    • Is this a serious comment? Why would you assume they _wouldn't_ make any changes to a given subsystem?

    • by Bogtha ( 906264 )

      I can't think of anything in iOS 9 that should have touched code like this, which makes me wonder about the state of source control.

      Why? Source control doesn't prevent regressions. Besides, they've clearly been working in this area for iOS 9, see the new network extension points for example.

      Apple have had a few regression-type bugs before which again make me think their branching/merging strategies may not quite be up to snuff.

      This doesn't even seem remotely related to branching/merging. To be

  • Android Too (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Makes you wonder why:

    1. Cell manufacturers are moving to devices that cannot be truly turned off by removing the battery.
    2. Android after 4.4 broke persistent VPN support.
    3. Now iOS 9 breaks VPN support.

    Coincidence? Who might prefer to have a citizenry carrying locator beacons that cannot be turned off and where encrypting all data communication has been disabled?

    • Coincidence? Who might prefer to have a citizenry carrying locator beacons that cannot be turned off and where encrypting all data communication has been disabled?

      You can get cell position via DtoA and your actual calls have been broken open for a long time now, so this is not about that. This is about your data, not about your location.

    • I'm pretty paranoid, but even I've given up caring about non-removable batteries. If you're that worried, carry an anti-static bag (or other Faraday cage) around with you.

    • Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to corporate douche-bags pushing untested software out the door with a promise to fix it with the first few patches.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Makes you wonder why:

      1. Cell manufacturers are moving to devices that cannot be truly turned off by removing the battery.

      Aehm, no battery - no power? How is that different from being "turned off"?

  • Impossible (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Everyone knows that Macs just work, more Micro$oft FUD.

  • Split Tunneling? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mveloso ( 325617 ) on Monday September 21, 2015 @01:04PM (#50567597)

    Problem is DNS during split tunneling, which isn't the same as "breaks VPN."

    I guess the editors are either click-baiting, are technically illiterate, or both.

    • Problem is, while people like us understand what's going on here, the other 95% of the population only see's that their facebook isn't loading. To them, it broke VPN.

      I'm sure of those 95%, 99% have no idea what DNS is

    • Slashdot: Technically illiterate clickbait. Formerly "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters".

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      To be fair, this topic is a bit advanced.

  • Didn't see any problems with VPNs during the betas, nor with final release. This is with connections to Junos Pulse, StrongSwan/xl2tpd, and racoon VPNs.

    Maybe the reason it wasn't "fixed" is it isn't an issue in the first place.

  • Don't install .0 versions of operating systems on production systems. At least, not until they've been tested and shown to work.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Workaround is to reinstall that VPN software on your iOS device.

  • Downgrade? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    You can't downgrade if you didn't have a backup already.

    IOS 9 broke other things as well. IOS 9 won't connect to hidden SSID WIFI networks either. I can verify this issue. There are some other grumblings of WPA / WPA2 connection issues for some as well.

    Even some popular apps, like Words with Friends in my case don't work in IOS9.

    • My only connection at home is a hidden SSID network and it's working fine. Are you saying you can't connect to unknown hiddens? If so, sounds like the XP version of WiFi. That would bite.

      Killing WwF, opening each game, not touching any tiles, going back to the home screen, then reopening the game seems to help. But yeah, it locks really easily. I'm surprised they didn't have an update ready. Then again, the app has always been a POS - at least on iOS.

  • Great (Score:2, Interesting)

    Switched from Android to iOS because Google won't fix their Bluetooth stack. I'll have to try my VPN on Friday and see if iOS 9 broke it. If so, I'll have to have two phones just so I can use two of the most important OS features that have been around for years but nobody can seem to get right (all at once, within one device, that is).

  • I thought Apple made it so you couldn't downgrade iOS (as a way to stop people from downgrading to a version that can be jailbroken)

  • It hasn't caused any problems with my OpenVPN based service. So sad that the corporate guys' software isn't working as well.

  • Both VPNs to work and to commercial VPNs seem to be working fine both in OS/X beta, and the production one. The only long time complaint I have it to be mandatory to install policies to have connect on demand/always on functionalities.
  • Post-iOS9 install I noticed ExpressVPN doesn't work at all either. At least I only need it for youtube/gmail ish, poor business-users, f'd. This is a pretty serious bug, quite shocked that it was known and let pass into retail release......indicator of slip in quality perhaps? Kinda like macbook 12" forcing users to a single usb-c port, in other words, forcing users into buying an adapter, far before C becomes standard? What's going on here.

  • For anyone still using WindowsXP with iTunes 11.5.5 and an iPhone with iOS 8.4. If you upgrade your phone to iOS 8.4.1 which came out last week, they do not tell you that you also must up grade to iTunes 12.1. Unfortunately, iTunes 12.1 is not supported on WindowsXP.

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