m3n4.net
m3n4.net February 23, 2018


ChaiOS "Text Bomb" Crashes iMessage App on macOS and iOS

19 January 2018, 02:05 | Antoinette Holland

The so-called text bomb bug can crash an iPhone with a single message. Yui Mok

The so-called text bomb bug can crash an iPhone with a single message. Yui Mok

A malicious link is causing Apple's iMessage on iPhones, iPads and Mac devices to break and freeze, forcing the messaging app to become unusable. In the meantime, iOS users are cautioned against sending the link that can trigger the bug.

A new flaw which can make your iPhone crash from just receiving a message has been discovered and has been dubbed "text bomb".

"I found a (small) bug that causes device to freeze, respring, drains battery, and/or sometimes panic", Masri tweeted. The chaiOS bug will be patched in a software update next week. You don't even have to click the link for it to affect your phone or even your Mac. This causes iOS to panic, and repeatedly crashes the Messages app. Despite this action, Masri maintains that users might not be safe from the link as anyone can access his GitHub account and possibly disseminate it.

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So far, Apple has not released a patch to fix the bug.

Masri told BuzzFeed News that he discovered the bug while "fuzzing with the operating system".

When criticised for uploading the code to Github, Masri said he always reports bugs before releasing them.

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"Ashamed about the mess it gets itself in, messages decide the least embarrassing thing to do is to crash".

Apple has faced a number of embarrassing security mishaps over the past few months, with a lot of them affecting macOS. That said, someone else may be able to replicate the problem in the future and upload it themselves to reinstate the attack.

Luckily though, Apple is well aware of the problem and has put a fix in place with the release of iOS 11.2.5 Beta 6 which was seeded to developers nearly 24 hours ago.

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