This Bug Crashes Your iPhone Via Text Message

Photographed by Jessica Nash.


Whether you were helping a struggling Nigerian prince or considering enlarging certain aspects of your anatomy, there was a time when spam was at least kind of funny. But, the latest security risk to iPhone operating systems earns zero points for creativity. Though it seems to be nothing more than a malicious prank, it's causing major problems for iPhones, iPads, and the Apple Watch.

The problem, which affects both iOS 7 and iOS 8 users, reaches individuals' iPhones via SMS or iMessage. The message itself is a series of Arabic characters that negatively affect how the operating system reads, processes, and renders the text. Once received, the Messages app on your phone shuts down and denies access to the bad text thread. If it appears as a lock-screen notification, it can cause the phone to crash and reboot entirely. 

Once alerted to the problem, an Apple spokesperson told iMore that the company "will make a fix available in a software update." Until then, the best line of defense is to turn off lock-screen notifications on any app that could receive the message.
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