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This prank message can crash your iPhone. (Don’t worry, you can recover.)


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Apple buds check this out:




"In weird Apple news today, it turns out there's a text message that you can send iPhone users that will shut down their phones. Just sending the message -- which we won't include here but is incredibly easy to find online -- includes Arabic and other non-Roman characters and causes the recipient's phone to restart and make it impossible for them to open their Messages app.


Apple is aware of the problem. A company spokeswoman said in a statement that, "We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update.”


While it's alarming to think that someone can attack your device this way, sending the message isn't exactly destructive. Your phone doesn't become inoperable, it just reboots. You can even open your messages again, as long as your prankster sends you another message -- your enemies, of course, may not be so obliging. In that case, you can also send yourself a text message, via Siri.


But it is somewhat baffling: how can a string of text automatically shut down your device?"


The rest of that article is here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/05/27/this-prank-message-can-crash-your-iphone-dont-worry-you-can-recover/?wpisrc=nl_tech&wpmm=1


If you want to go directly to the Apple threadx on it and their conclusions: https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/37e8c1/malicious_text_message/


Here's the text you can cut and paste: http://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/37edde/eli5_how_that_text_you_can_send_to_friends_turns/


It recovers when another text is received that is normal I understand. No Apple phones to test here, but could be fun to try on good friends, as long as you are sure they aren't subject to tantrums and might throw the phone against the wall. Then they might be upset with you. :o

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This kind of thing is nothing new. Foreign character sets can have sequences that find assumptions in how words are formed, etc. I remember many English applications crashed on Japanese Windows since the Japanese characters had C escape characters like "\t" in them. I also remember a certain Ethernet control board that would crash and it was found that if the characters "UB" were in the message in just the right place, it was interpreted wrong by the ROM firmware. The manufacturer was Ungermann-Bass, also known as UB.

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Yep these kinds of glitches when they occur though do need to be fixed. I just posted it so if an iPhone user gets the phone shuts down and texting acts funny, they know to send themselves a text to get back to normal.

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