iMessage bug found to crash iPhone when texting Arabic text

27 May 2015

Arabic speakers who use iMessage and iPhones might be a little peeved to discover that a bug has been discovered that, when a specific string of Arabic text is entered, causes the iPhone to crash.

The discovery came about after one Reddit user stumbled across the bug when sending the offending string of Arabic text, which crashed not only the phone of the person they sent it to, but also their own across two versions of iOS.

When the text is sent, the phone will crash and reboot within seconds, while iMessage also suffers, with the app crashing when the user tries to open the message containing the text.

Interestingly, the Reddit user has gone on to discover that it’s not purely an iMessage issue, but the vulnerability also appears to be in the iOS version of WhatsApp.

The cause had remained a mystery until another Reddit user discovered the bug was the result of an error in how the banner notification on iOS processes the Unicode text and, as the banner tries and fails to present the text, it causes it to crash.

If someone has the audacity to send you the offending code, Mac Rumours has offered a quick fix that involves you sending yourself the code again, which will reverse the bug.

Apple has since said to one customer that they are currently working on the issue.

iPhone fail image via Ricky Romero/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic