Apple recently found a bug that causes iPhones to crash when receiving a message containing a certain string of text with Arabic characters and symbols. It was first reported by Apple News on May 26th. The malware was originally believed to only affect iPhones, but updated reports show that no Apple product is immune and the bug can crash your iPad, Apple Watch or Mac computer as well.
The bug breaks Snapchat text chat, affects Twitter, and could possibly break into other texting and microblogging platforms. When it is sent as a text message, it crashes the phone immediately and permanently the moment the user tries to read the message. The message cannot be cleared nor other messages be received while the malware is running on the device. It can also be sent via Twitter using public mentions or direct messages. If an Apple user has notifications turned on, the bug will then automatically crash their device.
An Apple spokesperson commented: “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.” However, we hope that the fix will be released soon as the message seems to be spreading like wildfire among iPhone users.
According to MacRumors, sending a reply message solves the problem, but this has not always worked as there are updated versions of the bug going around which disable messaging on the infiltrated devices. Other users have also attempted to delete the message using Siri, which has worked for some. The only way to safeguard your popular Apple devices from the bug is by disabling your notifications. Although not fool proof, it seems to be the only remedy until Apple provides a new software update.
iOS 8.3 has had a few bugs since its release, but most of them have been mild in comparison. A banner mail notifications bug shows previews of emails if you have notifications enabled. The Touch ID bug prompts users to enter their iTunes password every time before making a purchase, even if the device settings are changed. Other bugs also create minor disturbances, making the text message bug the most notorious one so far.