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This Single String of Text Can Crash Your iPhone’s Messages App

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor
Yahoo Tech

If you’ve got an iPhone, and a particularly obnoxious group of friends, you might want to avoid checking your text messages today.

That’s because a new exploit has been found that lets someone send you a specific line of text that can crash your iPhone’s Messages app, and in some cases crash the phone entirely.

We’re going to show the string of text as an image here, so that you and your nasty friends can’t just copy it down and freeze each other’s phones.  If you really want to see the code, you can just find it on Reddit, or Twitter with a  quick search.

Ready? Here’s the text:

According to Gizmodo, if you receive the text string, it will lock down your Messages app until you receive a new message in the conversation. The second message doesn’t have to be anything in particular. It can be gibberish or a novella: As long as it’s sent to the same conversation it will repair the lockout issue.

The Verge reports that if you have your Messages app open when you receive the text, you won’t be able to reopen the conversation without the app crashing. If you get the text while on your phone’s lock screen, you won’t be able to open the Messages app at all.

The site 9to5Mac says that the text can crash some iPhones entirely, causing them to reboot them without warning. And there’s a report that the nasty string also works on messaging service WhatsApp, too. 

Still, even that problem can be resolved if your awful friend sends you a second text.

The problem, though, besides being incredibly annoying, is that a person can send you the offending message, and, if he is a truly heartless monster, decide not to send a second text to fix the error.

Thankfully, 9to5Mac says that you can send yourself a message using Siri or your Mac to cancel out the effects of the illicit text.

This isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, issue discovered with Apple’s iOS, which many people say is far more secure than Google’s Android.

Take for instance, the issues that resulted from downloading Apple’s iOS 8.1 update. The download caused everything from Wi-Fi problems to battery issues for iPhone owners. But after receiving complaints, the company fired off a new update in relatively short order.

Just last month, an exploit was discovered in Apple’s iOS operating system that let a hacker continuously restart a person’s iPhone or iPad as many times as they wanted if the person connected to a certain Wi-Fi hotspot.

The good news is that if past precedent holds, Apple is likely already aware of the text problem and hard at work on a fix.

via: Gizmodo, The Verge, 9to5Mac

Email Daniel Howley at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley or on Google+.

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