Apple Working On Fix For Text That Instantly Crashes iPhones

Image courtesy of J

You just KNOW your cat would text you that string, if it could text. (J)

You just KNOW your cat would text you that string, if it could text. (J)

It sounds like something out of a horror movie…if mobile phones watched horror movies. A certain string of Arabic characters, when sent to an iPhone, can crash the device and force it to restart immediately. It’s a hilarious prank, but also a nasty security flaw that could disrupt important phone calls.

We’re not going to tell you what that string is, because we’re not evil, but the problem is in how the iPhone’s notifications handle certain characters. The issue applies to the Apple Watch as well, since the smart watch is effectively a notifications-showing device.

The good news for people with prankster friends is that Apple is aware of the problem, admits that they’re aware of the problem, and says that they’re working on a fix. “We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update,” the company said in a statement to CNBC.

That’s actually not quite accurate: people who have tested the bug found that crashes can happen in any app that can generate notifications, as long as the nefarious bit of text is in the preview that pops up on the lock screen. That means the first few words of a text message or Whatsapp message, or the subject line of an e-mail. If any of your friends or other contacts are jerks, you can turn off notifications to prevent crashes from happening.

Apple Working on Fix for Bug That Crashes iPhones With Text Message [CNBC]

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