Why iPhone with iOS 17.1.1 freezes and crashes after unwanted Bluetooth connection attempt

On November 7, 2023, Apple released iOS 17.1.1 to everyone with fixes for the unavailability of Apple Pay and other NFC features on iPhone 15 models in certain cars and issues with the Weather Lock Screen widget. 

Recently, a Reddit user reported a “weird behavior” on his iPhone running on iOS 17.1.1 which repeatedly froze and crashed after unwanted “Bluetooth Device” connect attempts. Here is what might be causing the issue.

iOs 17.1.1 iPhone

Bluetooth spamming might be causing “Bluetooth Device” connection attempts on iOS 17.1.1 iPhones

A Reddit user complained that their iPhone 12 running on the latest iOS 17.1.1 version experienced unexpected behavior. The smartphone tried to connect to a “Bluetooth Device” arbitrarily which is not in its range.

Furthermore, the complaint said they could not quit the process which caused the iPhone to freeze and crash. 

So far, turning the airplane mode on and off and restarting the iPhone did not solve the issue. @forever_tuesday wrote:

My iPhone 12 with 17.1.1 iOS installed is experiencing some weird behaviors. It’ll attempt to connect to “Bluetooth Device” on its own and I can’t seem to abort the process. The screenshot I snagged seems to suggest that my phone is trying to connect to an AppleTV but I can almost guarantee there are no AppleTVs in my vicinity.

I’ve even disabled Bluetooth and turned on airplane mode but the connection attempt still goes through. After this pop up notification shows (often for a split second or so), the phone freezes and then shuts down. I had to restart my phone numerous times in the span of a half hour or so. I’m in a public place so I’m wondering if someone has a device that can force my phone to bug out… any help would be appreciated.

This behavior might be triggered by a mischievous neighbor with a Flipper Zero device.

iOs 17.1.1 iPhone

Flipper Zero is a compact and portable Tamagotchi-like multi-functional device that can interact with various access control systems, RFID, near-field communication (NFC), infrared signals, and radio protocols.

It features a GPIO interface to read, copy, and emulate RFID and NFC tags, digital access keys, iButton, and radio remotes.

In addition to being used as a remote control for television or sensors, it can also trigger malicious actions like Bluetooth spamming which spams Bluetooth connection and crashes the victim’s smartphone, works as BadUSB to unlock cars and other purposes.

Fix for preventing Flipper Zero Bluetooth spamming

Currently, the only fix to prevent Bluetooth spamming from a Flipper Zero device is to disable Bluetooth from the Settings app and not from the Control Center. 

About the Author

Addicted to social media and in love with iPhone, started blogging as a hobby. And now it's my passion for every day is a new learning experience. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to use innovative solutions and we will keep on letting you know about them.

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