Malicious 'Text Bomb' Is Crashing People's Phones

Malicious 'Text Bomb' Is Crashing People's Phones

APPLE IS FIXING an iOS 11 glitch which causes iPhones and MacBooks to crash after receiving a single character in the Indian language Telugu.

The Verge also reports that the bug is not present in the iOS 11.3 beta, indicating that Apple already knows the problem exists, and is preparing to patch it in the next update. iOS 11.3 public beta 2 is available for download already, so if you're particularly anxious about someone spamming you the character to be annoying, you can download the beta today to immunize yourself.

The original report reads: "The error we are talking about presents an Indian character that, if received or simply pasted in a text field, can lead to freeze of applications or crashes of the entire operating system".

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If a user were to open any conversation in a text-based app like WhatsApp, Twitter, or Facebook Messenger, and type the character, the app will crash, and it will keep force closing each time you try to re-open it. The Verge found that all the major messaging apps were affected except Skype and Telegram.

In case the character is received from someone else and it appears in the notification, the whole system can come crashing down as Springboard (the software which manages Home) resets.

The latest reboot problem is set off when a certain character in Telugu, one of several official primary languages in India that's spoken by an estimated 74 million people, is displayed in a range of applications on Apple devices.

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In addition to iOS and macOS, the bug can also affect new versions of tvOS and watchOS. All someone with malicious intent has to do is send you a specific Telugu character to your iOS device to ruin your day. Apple has not released any information on when app updates will fall under the same requirements. And, also all the developers should build their new apps using iOS 11 SDK from April. Apple seems to be aware of the issue because the bug is fixed in the public beta version of iOS 11.3.

In an unsurprising turn of events, Apple announced today that beginning in April, all new iPhone apps will be required to support the notch that's on the iPhone X.

"While iOS 11.3 fixes the problems, Apple said it is planning to release an iOS 11 update soon that will address the crashes before the iOS 11.3 release in the spring", The Verge reported late Thursday.

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