Security researchers have warned about a devastating text bomb SMS that if opened will crash any iPhone or iPad.
The bug, which is dubbed chaiOS and is wreaking havoc on iPhones and iPad, freezes and then crashes the device if you open a specific link sent via iMessage.
The security flaw was discovered by a developer named Abraham Masri who shared the offending link on social media warning people not to “use it for bad stuff”. However, people quickly began
sharing the link with their friends.
👋 Effective Power is back, baby!
Text the link below, it will freeze the recipient's device, and possibly restart it. https://t.co/Ln93XN51Kq
— Abraham Masri (@cheesecakeufo) January 16, 2018
Once clicked on, the link redirects iMessage to a GitHub page, which then tries to open a massive list of text, which eventually overloads iOS and crashes the iPhone.
Users have reported their devices freezing, crashes and restart loops, before eventually being returned to the Lock Screen.
Writing about the bug, security expert Graham Cluley said:
“Something about the so-called ChaiOS bug’s code gives your Apple device a brainstorm.
“Ashamed about the mess it gets itself in, Messages decides the least embarrassing thing to do is to crash.
“Nasty. But, thankfully, more of a nuisance than something that will lead to data being stolen from your computer or a malicious hacker being able to access your files.
“Please don’t be tempted to try the text bomb attack out on anyone else – you’re not being funny, you’re just being a jerk.”
Meanwhile Buzzfeed reports that the text bomb affects all Apple devices running iOS 10 up to iOS iOS 11.2.5 beta.
While Apple is yet to issue a patch to fix the bug, the only way remedy the flaw is to quit iMessage and delete the offending conversation thread from your computer.