Apple Users Are Facing a New Security Flaw: The ChaiOS 'Text Bomb'

Isaac Cain
January 19, 2018

One of the first to notice the problem was Twitter user Abraham Masri, who Tweeted about how an iMessage containing a certain link would cause iPhones to freeze, crash, and then restart.

The bug can be activated on somebody's device by simply sending them a message containing a link, which is included in Masri's tweet.

Once it is sent to your iMessage via a text message, it automatically starts working without even requiring the user to click on the link.

This time a year ago, YouTube channel Everything Apple Pro published details about a crash message bug that caused iPads and iPhones running iOS 10.1 or below to crash. Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Masri explains that he created a webpage hosted on GitHub and stuffed its metadata with hundreds of thousands of unnecessary characters. Hence, when this URL is received by any iOS user, it tries to load the preview and hence causes the crash.

Masri posted a link to his code on the programming site Github, and the link to the code on the specific page was all that was needed to trigger the iMessage application to crash in many cases.

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Masri said he has reported bugs to Apple before releasing them but Apple has not commented on the matter.

Masri has since deleted the code, but it's highly likely others have copied it.

We're always warning you about the latest activity from cybercriminals. The good news is that this is just annoying and won't damage your phone.

Wait for a patch.

Bugs like this are a nuisance rather than a genuine worry, and Apple does tend to roll out updates for such issues pretty quickly, so there's a good chance it will be fixed in the near future.

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