Beware: This Video Link Can Crash Any iPhone Or iPad
iPhone users beware! A malicious video link has been discovered which can crash or freeze any iPhone or iPad on any version of iOS. Fortunately, there’s a fix available for it.
Anyone with one of Apple’s iOS devices who regularly stays abreast of consumer technology news will likely be aware that there have been a number of message-centric bugs in the past which have caused device owners to panic about the effect that they have on the device. Apple has generally been extremely reactive when it comes to fixing these issues.
It now look as though there is another case for Apple’s engineers to answer with it being discovered that there is a very specific malicious video that is capable of causing an iOS device to freeze or crash and become unresponsive to the point of requiring a hard reboot.
Rather than being a bug that is delivered via a communications platform, such as iOS Messages app or WhatsApp, this video, which was first brought to the world’s attention by a popular YouTube channel, is delivered via mobile Safari on the device. Whenever an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch visits the relevant site causing Safari to playback the MP4 video file, the device slowly becomes unresponsive and is finally rendered entirely useless. The only way to get out of this horrible useless state is to actually put the iOS device in question through the hard reboot process.
Not only does the malicious video have an undesired effect on Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch hardware, but it also affects a varying range of firmware versions too. It’s been tested as far back as iOS 5, and yes, it still has the horrible effect of causing the device to lock up and become unusable. The issue has also been tested on Apple’s latest iOS 10.2 beta 3 pre-release seed, where interestingly if the device is left as is, it will ultimately turn itself off with the typical spinning wheel running indefinitely.
The existence of the video, and indeed the existence of the bug within iOS, is indeed worrying as it raises concerns about what else could be possible if this vulnerability is exploited in a different manner. However, device owners can find comfort in the knowledge that in its current form the video doesn’t seem to cause any lasting damage to the hardware in question. Even if it has been viewed, and the device has frozen up, a relatively simple hard reboot appears to put the iPhone or iPad back into perfect functioning order.
We are still waiting for Apple to officially acknowledge this issue, and will bring you more on the situation when, and if, Apple responds. For now, check out the malicious video in action below in this YouTube video embedded below: