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

How A Single Character

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

Apple Inc. confirmed today that it's working to fix a bug on iOS that can crash iPhones and disable access to apps and iMessage, all because of a single text character.

The character, when received or even pasted into iMessage, will at least crash the app if not the entire iOS SpringBoard (the core software that runs the iOS home screen).

If you do get sent the character, you should get someone else to message you and delete the message and the thread containing it. Through their own testing, The Verge discovered other apps are also affected by this bug including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Outlook and Gmail. It gets worse from here as the bug will continue crashing the apps until you remove the character from the app which is hard if you can't open the app. The Verge reports that Telegram and Skype are unaffected.

It was discovered that the bug was induced by sending a specific character in the Indian language Telugu. Messaging apps will not open as they are unable to load the bad character. If a notification containing the letter pops up, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and TVs can become trapped in a bootloop, restarting continually without ever actually booting up.

The Guardian reported that Telugu is spoken by at least 80 million people in India and elsewhere combined.

Apple will address these issues soon with an updated version of iOS 11.2.

But you'll be using this very modern expression which begins with a vowel if hackers use the ancient Indian language to crash your iPhone: 'OMFG!' This happens because iOS 11 struggles to render the character whenever it's used in a text field.

Starting this April, all iOS developers are required to make their apps compatible with the iPhone X, meaning their design must put into consideration the phone's almost bezel-less OLED display and the huge notch above.

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