Major new iOS bug can crash iPhones and disable access to Messages and other apps

“Apple had a shockingly bad week of software problems just before the end of 2017, and it looks like 2018 isn’t starting so well either,” Tom Warren reports for The Verge. “A new bug has been discovered in iOS 11 that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iPhone and block access to the Messages app in iOS and popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Outlook for iOS, and Gmail.”

“Italian blog Mobile World spotted the bug, and we’ve tested it successfully on multiple iPhones running iOS 11.2.5, and found it also works on the macOS versions of Safari and Messages,” Warren reports. “The bug itself involves sending an Indian language (Telugu) character to devices, and Apple’s iOS Springboard will crash once the message has been received.”

“Messages will no longer open as the app is trying and failing to load the character, and it appears that the only way to regain access to your iMessages is to have another friend send you a message and try to delete the thread that contained the bad character,” Warren reports. “We’ve also tested the bug on third-party apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Gmail, and Outlook for iOS and found that these apps can become disabled once a message is received. It might be difficult to fix and delete the problem message for apps like WhatsApp, unless you have web access enabled. Telegram and Skype appear to be unaffected.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: iOS 11.3 is unaffected, so the fix is coming.

ChaiOS ‘text bomb’ can crash your Apple iPhone or Mac with a single link – January 17, 2018
Three-character message prank crashes pre-iOS 10.2 Apple iPhones with a single text – January 18, 2017
Random string of Arabic characters can crash nearly any Mac, iPhone or iPad – September 3, 2013


  1. Oh, how frightening. Such doom. As an aside, Apple does seem to have problems with Unicode stuff, as this isn’t new stuff. Devin Prater Assistive Technology Instructor

    , Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, and Powerpoint instructor certified by World Services for the Blind


  2. OMG, an app crashing, the world is ending and It’s all Apples fault. /s

    Only one language?! Sequence of characters? I would bet my car if I didn’t have a life, I could do this with several other launguages. But then again, my research would be limited to time and my limited supply of alcohol. Oh, this was posted not The Verge. Explains a lot.

    Any other real Apple news out there?

  3. The hot mess Apple introduced into iOS regarding the way Wi-Fi is handled is a pain in the ass and I wish they would fix it.

    If you are in a public area where there are overlapping Wi-Fi signals and you have turned WiFi off, the damn thing will still grab on to a known network and then drag it’s ass switching back over to LTE.

    My home internet is Comcast and I have the xFinity app installed that gives me secure wi-fi a countless public places. My LTE on both iPad Pro and iPhone is AT&T who also operate a large network of closed WiFi for their customers.. Pull up into a strip mall or office complex while streaming audio and watch iOS grab on to the networks despite your selection to ignore them.

    I do not know who is doing Quality Control on SW at Apple, but they are not doing a very good job. Lots more stuff like this. Steve Jobs would blow a gasket over stuff like this.

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