By manually setting the date of your iPhone or iPad to 1 January 1970, your Apple device will get permanently stuck while trying to boot back up if it’s switched off. This newly discovered bug within Apple’s date and time settings in Apple’s iOS, causes such an issue that users are reporting that the fail-safe restore techniques using iTunes are not even able to repair the problem. This is clearly serious!
Luckily the date bug only affects iPhones, iPads and iPod touches with 64-bit processors running iOS 8 or 9, including the iPhone 5S or newer, the iPad Air, iPad mini 2 or the 2015 sixth generation iPod touch or newer.
In the video below, we are shown what will happen if you change the date back to 1/1/1970.
Users are not likely to do it by accident because it is quite time-consuming, scrolling all the way through the years. Although pranksters have taken to bricking demo units in the Apple stores. There is a possibility that a malicious attacker or hacker could trick an iOS device connected to a network, by automatically adjusting its time settings into setting the date to 1 January 1970 by pretending to be a time server. A hacker could brick every 64-bit iPhone connected to a public Wi-Fi network, such as in a shopping mall for instance.
Users wanting to disprove the reports on Reddit, have ended up having to have their iOS devices replaced by Apple because they bricked it. On purpose. (That’s 2016 for you!)
Apple has acknowledged the issue stating that they are working on a fix through an upcoming OTA update. The company does also recommend that if you are affected by this bug to contact Apple support.