We don’t believe it’s the first time that a special text string has been used to crash an iPhone, but this is the latest example of that happening. Users on Reddit recently published a bug in which a specific set of characters can be sent via either iMessage or text message from one phone to an iPhone to crash the Messages application.
“Sending the string of characters to an iPhone results in an immediate respring, causing an iPhone to crash and quickly reboot,” MacRumors explained after testing the bug. Since the text message sits inside of the Messages app, which will apparently continue to crash in some circumstances, users are also unable to dig inside to delete the messages. If you’re affected by the bug, you can remedy the situation by sending yourself a text message from another device, or by using Siri.
Bugs like these might be fun for kids trying to prank one another, but it could also spell big trouble for someone who needs to use his or her own phone in an emergency and can’t. Thankfully, Apple is aware of the bug and is already working to patch it.
“We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update,” Apple told CNBC in a statement. When that update will be pushed remains unclear, however.