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iOS bug crashes iPhones with a single text message

A new bug has been discovered by the Reddit community which causes iPhones to reboot when receiving a particular string of characters as a text or iMessage.

Various sources have reported slightly different responses depending on which version of iOS is installed, but the general consensus is that receiving the message causes an instant crash followed by an automatic reboot of the iPhone. Afterwards, opening the Messages app at all will cause it to crash again.

Reminiscent of the ‘Unicode of Death’ bug that was crashing iPhones way back in 2013, the message in question is a string of arabic characters and random symbols that for whatever reason the Messages app just can’t cope with.

Apple said it is aware of the bug and is working to fix it, so hopefully it won’t be long until a new software update comes along. In the meantime, there’s a workaround if you’re unfortunate enough to be sent the message – just use Siri or Photos to send any new message to someone, as the bug only seems to cause crashes when the offending text is the most recent in your message history.

What started as a curious exploit quickly became a viral prank – watch out for any mischievous pals who might try to send you ‘Unicode of Death 2’. While it’s a relatively small bug, it does represent a potential security vulnerability and you would expect Apple to act fast in dealing with it.