The news of a new iOS bug have been making the rounds on Internet. This bug allows users to to send a malicious SMS or iMessage to the iPhone user and crash their Messages app, which then does not open because it keeps going back to the same message on launch. In case the message is received on the lock screen, it can cause the iPhone to reboot.
This happens due to a bug when rendering a certain string of Unicode characters and has plagued iPhone and even Windows Phone before. The fix is being worked on by Apple but for now, if you somehow receive such a message, you can fix the app by following one of the below steps:
- Get someone to send you another message so the view moves to another thread.
- Send yourself a message by either using Siri with the command ‘send myself a message’ or using the notes app, craft a dummy message and use the sharing sheet to message it to yourself
- In case the contact keeps sending you the same malicious message again and again, you can simply block them, by going to their entry in Contacts app and selecting ‘Block this Caller’
This issue is confirmed to be happening on iOS 8.3 – not sure if iOS 8.4 also has issues with it. Apple would be rolling out the fix through a software update although they have not clarified when the update would be rolling out.
Meanwhile, if you get such a message from any of your contacts, now you know how to fix it.