iPhones will restart following SMS containing Arabic text, user reports say
iPhone users have been warned to watch their messages following the uncovering of a bug that will apparently make devices reboot just by receiving a text.
Any iPhone that gets the text instantly crashes and reboots, as long as the recipient is not viewing their message history at the time.
Several users have reported the flaw on Reddit, which doesn’t yet appear to have any known fix from Apple.
Speaking in tongues
The bug appears to be caused by a glitch in the way iOS renders Arabic text, as when the message is displayed by a banner alert or notification on the lockscreen, the system attempts to abbreviate the text with an ellipsis.
However if the ellipsis is placed in the middle of a set of non-Latin script characters, including Arabic, Marathi and Chinese, it causes the system to crash and the phone to reboot.
The bug requires a very specific string of text to be sent within an iMessage or SMS, and as it runs off iOS will affect iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, although the Apple Watch is unaffected.
Despite its supposed status as a safe haven from security issues, today’s flaw is one of a number of potentially damaging bugs affecting Apple devices.
This included the embarrassing side effect of installing iOS 8.0.1, which removed the ability to make and receive calls in the iPhone 6.
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