iOS 10 has brought its own share of problems since Apple pushed it out, but now there’s a text message that can crash any iPhone running on it. Those who are unlucky enough to receive the text will find that it makes their iPhone crash, and it could bring a sense of déjà vu with it.
Patching bugs in iOS 10
In the past, other bugs have caused iPhones to crash via a text message. For example, last year there was a text that crashed the iPhones of those who received it and then triggered a never-ending reboot loop. Then this year, iOS devices were hit by a malicious link on Safari that also caused them to crash. Then last month, another malicious link—a video this time—began circulating. This link was able to crash all iPhones and iPads running on all iOS versions.
iOS 10 patched all of these bugs, but it didn’t take long for a new text messaging bug to appear on the scene. Redmond Pie describes this text as “a large contacts file” that can permanently disable the Messages app on all iPhone models that are running the iOS 10.2.1 beta or previous versions.
Beware this malicious code
The file arrives as an attachment to a text message, and it freezes the app and then crashes it as soon as the recipient taps to open the file containing the malicious code. The iPhone user can get into the multitasking switcher and kill the app, but then the iPhone crashes when they try to open Messages again, throwing up a white screen of death. After a few seconds, the iPhone crashes, returning to the Home screen.
According to Redmond Pie, the problem can’t be fixed by performing a hard reboot or by turning the iPhone off and back on. The website states that the problem seems to be the large size of the contacts file being received via the text message. Messages can’t read or make sense of such a massive file, so it just becomes unusable.
So if you receive a text message with a file like this, don’t tap on the file to open it.