A bug in the iPhone messaging app crashes the iPhone via a text message. Now Apple released an official support document offering work arounds.
As reported earlier this week, a weird bug in the iMessage app can be used to annoy iPhone users quite a bit. A rather unusual line of text can crash the iPhone when received in iMessage. The discovery was first shared on Reddit. This text is not something users would type by accident. If your iPhone shuts down after receiving a text message, you have been targeted.
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The "Turn off iPhone" text message is containing Arabic characters. The crash actually happens when a notification banner of a new message is displayed containing the malicious text.
Many have already fallen victim to the malicious text message based on many Tweets shared on Twitter reporting the problem.
Apple says in the support note: "Apple is aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update. Until the update is available, you can use these steps to re-open the Messages app."
Until Apple fixes this text message bug, users can switch off notification banners to prevent getting targeted by the turn off iPhone text message. The settings for banner notifications can be found under Settings/Notifications/Messages on the iPhone.
Users who have already been targeted need to get the message cleared from the top of the list by sending a new one. Apple suggests the follow methods for that:
1) Ask Siri to "read unread messages."
2) Use Siri to reply to the malicious message. After you reply, you'll be able to open Messages again.
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3) In Messages, swipe left to delete the entire thread. Or tap and hold the malicious message, tap More, and delete the message from the thread.