A malicious text message seems to be the source of iOS shutting down, tech blogs report.
Engineers at Apple are working to realize what makes the viral text message, sent as a prank it seems, force iOS to shut down.
One text message that features the words „effective” and „power” and a string of Unicode characters in Chinese and Arabic was reported by a number of users.
In connection to receiving the message, their phones crashed, shut down and then turned back on. No permanent damage was registered.
In some cases it seems that users cannot access messages after the phone turns on until they receive the malicious text again. Reddit users are ardently debating the problem and possible solutions.
It is clear that the text is an abnormal one due to its specific Unicode characters and specific use of the two English words, seemingly unrelated. The good news is it doesn’t attack the operating system permanently. It just causes it to reboot.
What can be embedded in what looks like a prank message that can send iOS into malfunction?
According to Reddit users, iOS phones might be having a hard time displaying the non-Roman characters in the notifications banner.
Since the system is struggling to read and display the message in the pop down notification, that alone sends the device into rebooting.
It seems iOS 6 has faced this issue before, according to the same Reddit thread.
The problem doesn’t occur when the text is embedded in a message alone. Experimenting with sending it via Whatsapp, Pushbullet or a tweet has resulted in similar device behavior.
Every app or service that has notifications enabled and they pop up in the banner on top of the screen causes the same action.
Turning off the banner notifications doesn’t work either.
At least for now, the source of the malfunction is known. How to put an end to it is still in the process.
Image Source: cityam.co