Beware: There’s Another Text Message Floating Around That Can Crash Any iPhone
There is yet another text message circulating around that can crash any iPhone and its native Messages app on iOS 10 or below.
If you are an iPhone owner, then you may be aware of a little bit of history that has preceded this issue. Last year, the public became aware of a text messaging bug that could not only instantly crash the iPhone that it was received on, but also cause it to continuously reboot. As if that issue was not problematic enough, earlier this year there was a malicious Safari link passed on that could cause iOS devices to crash. Even more problems arose just last month when it was also discovered that there was a malicious video link that could also crash or freeze any iPhone or iPad on any version of iOS.
With these bug fixed in new releases of iOS, we thought the pain was over, but it appears not, thanks to a large contacts file now that has the ability to sort of permanently disable the Messages app on any of Apple’s smartphones.
It seems that any iPhone running iOS up to version 10.2.1 betas receiving this particular attachment via the native Messages app will instantly freeze the app and render it unresponsive when the attachment containing the malicious code is tapped to open.
While the user is able to enter into multitasking switcher to kill the Messages app, but is then presented with a single white screen of death when attempting to re-launch the app again. It will then sit like that for a number of seconds before crashing back to the Home screen. A hard reboot of the device doesn’t resolve the problem either, and neither does turning the device off and then back on again provide any relief.
This appears to be a case of the Messages app being unable to decipher and make sense of an extremely large contacts file being sent to it, therefore rendering itself entirely unusable.
Take note and beware. If you receive a file of this nature, do not tap on it to try and open the file. Similarly, we wouldn’t advise anyone to prank their friends using this method either.
You can check out the demo of the bug, as well as the links to the file that causes the crash, in the video embedded below.