A New Bug Means a Single Text Message Could Crash Your iPhone

There’s a bug going around.

And your iPhone is its target.

A bug in Apple’s iOS enables anyone to crash an iPhone by simply sending it a certain string of characters in a text message. As long as the recipient is not viewing their message history at the time, as soon as the message is read, it immediately crashes the iPhone and causes it to reboot.

The bug was initially discovered by several Reddit users.

Apparently, the attack can be blamed on a glitch in the way Apple’s iOS mobile operating system renders Arabic text. It requires a very specific string of text to be sent within an iMessage or SMS. (Like, really specific.)

When the text message is displayed by a banner alert or notification on the lockscreen to the unsuspecting recipient, the system tries to abbreviate the text with an ellipsis. The thing is, if the ellipsis is placed in the middle of a set of non-Latin script character – including Arabic, Marathi, and Chinese – the system crashes and the phone is forced to reboot.

Some who have fallen victim to the attack have reported that they can no longer access messages.

So if you want to avoid being hit with the bug, you may want to turn off your notification banners. There have also been reports that sending a photo to the contact who sent you the message, then clearing the conversation history, will remove the flaw. Getting notifications on an Apple Watch could also help your cause.

If not, and you’re phone crashes today, it could very well be deliberate.

Apparently people think ruining your entire day as a prank is considered ‘funny’.