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iOS Personal Hotspot can be cracked in 60 seconds – Here’s how to change your password

If you’re a user of the Personal Hotspot feature on your iPhone then we’ve got a little bit of a heads up for you; don’t use the default password you’re issued!

It’s come to light that Apple’s default password issuing system for the Personal Hotspot feature can be cracked in under a minute, if you have the right equipment. Once cracked, devices that are not authorised by you could connect to your hotspot and use your internet without your knowledge.

Personal Hotspot is a feature which allows iPhone users to take their 3G or 4G mobile connection and share it with other devices, including smartphones, tablets and even laptops. It effectively transforms an iPhone into a wireless router, where the user gets to choose the name of the network and the password, or they can use a set of default details provided by Apple.

It’s this default password that can be cracked with surprising ease. A German university discovered that Apple dishes out passwords for Personal Hotspots from a Scrabble dictionary of 52,500 words, although only 1,842 different words are actually used by the system. This means that the strength of each password is pretty low, making it relatively simple to crack it with the right equipment.

The researchers were able to use a single computer to crack the password used on an iPhone’s Personal Hotspot in 49 seconds or less. Whilst the hardware required to do this isn’t feasibly available to most, it highlights the need for iPhone users to set their own unique passwords when using the Personal Hotspot feature. Here’s how to do just that;

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap Personal Hotspot
  3. Turn Personal Hotspot on
  4. Tap Wi-Fi Password
  5. Use the keyboard to delete default password and type out a new one
  6. Tap Done

Try to use a mixture of letters and numbers and keep your password between 8 and 16 characters. The longer the better!

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