A newly discovered bug in Apple's iOS mobile operating system has emerged this evening that lets iPhone users crash another user’s iPhone by just sending a tiny string of text characters in a message.
The bug is related to the Messages app and the notification system used by iPhone and iPad devices and appears to work only if there is iPhone to iPhone communication.
A string of particular Arabic characters (see the image above) used in the text message causes the iPhone to continuously crash when a certain text is received and — reportedly in some cases — causes the iPhone to reboot without notice.
How to Crash an iPhone with a Message:
iPhone users who receive the string of text characters with Messages open would not be able to go back to other conversations without crashing the app, but…
...if the string is received while the iPhone is on the lock screen, users would be unable to open the Messages app entirely, or in some cases, the text could cause the iPhone to reboot without any notice or explanation.
People Exploiting Bug to bother others:
Users have already started using this forbidden string for the evil purpose. After appearing first on Reddit, the weird string of text characters has been started exploiting by people, sending the text to other iPhone users to block them from seeing Messages from other recipients.
The bug does not occur accidentally since the string of characters is a very specific set of Unicode characters, and many have fallen victims to this new Unicode character bug.
Some Workarounds to Undo the Effect:
However, there are several workarounds that can undo the damage. The effect can be undone by sending another message (any normal text) to the person who sent you the malicious string, canceling out the initial strand.
Another option is to send the person who sent the the string a message using the share sheet by simply pressing the "share" button in other apps, or send yourself a message via Siri, or ask Siri to "send a message" to whoever sent it.