How A Single Character "Text Bomb" Can Crash Your iPhone And Mac

17 February, 2018, 01:16 | Author: Darren Santiago
  • 3 Companies Set to Lose From Apple's 2018 iPhones

Telegram and Skype do not appear to be affected and the issue couldn't be recreated in the public beta versions of iOS 11.3.

The report says that if the character is displayed within an application like WhatsApp, Twitter or even iMessage, the app in question crashes each time one tries to restart it. For example, The Verge recommends getting someone to send you an SMS so you can get back into iMessage through that notification and delete the thread containing the bad character from your conversations list.

That, of course, could prove to be a problem.

Interestingly, the bug only appears to affect iOS 11.2.5.

Apple is aware of the problem - as testing the issue in beta versions of iOS 11.3 did not have the same issue. Fixes are expected when Apple releases updates for iOS and macOS later this month.

Apple has been troubled by a series of issues lately, including a separate iOS bug called 'chaiOS' that was exposed by a researcher on GitHub. Apple expects to finalize iOS 11.3 this spring, at which point it will be pushed out to iPhones and iPads in general.

A character-based bug on iOS was discovered that can disable messaging apps, and also crash your device. In May 2015, the "Effective Power" vulnerability - set into motion by receiving a "Unicode of Death" text message - was found to cause iPhones to repeatedly crash.

This isn't the first time Apple's software has run afoul of troublesome characters or links. Where most of the developers will fix their apps to at least display as intended on the bezel-less device, others may neglect to do so. Reports suggest that the bug can also be exploited on Safari and Messages on macOS as well as the Apple Watch. The company confirmed that an upcoming update will fix the bug. Instead, Apple's software this year will likely focus on stability and performance, according to Bloomberg.



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