With only a single character you can crash any iPhone, block access to the Messaging app in iOS and apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Outlook for iOS, and Gmail. Enter the Telugu Character.
A new severe bug that crashes iPhones but also a wide range of Apple devices, including Macs, iPads, and other Apple products running the latest versions of their OS has been spotted in the wild wreaking havoc with peoples devices. The new flaw can be exploited by anyone by sending a single character in Telugu, a Dravidian language native to India, spoken by nearly 70 million. Once the recipient receives the character containing the symbol or types the symbol into a text editor, the character immediately instigates crashes on iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches and Apple TVs running Apple’s iOS Springboard.
Any App that receives the text bomb tries to load the character, but fails and refuses to function properly until the character is removed which usually can be done by deleting the conversation containing the character. In some cases the only way to delete the offending message is to have someone else send a message to the app that is currently crashing, this allows you access to the offending thread containing the character.
The character can disable third-party apps like iMessage, Slack, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Gmail, and Outlook for iOS, as well as Safari and Messages for the macOS versions. Telegram and Skype users so far have not been affected by the text bomb bug.
Apple received news of the text bomb earlier this week, and the company is planning to address the issue in an iOS update soon before the release of iOS 11.3 this upcoming soon. Currently, the public beta version of iOS 11.3 is unaffected. Until patched in the upcoming release many apps are currently at risk of the nex text bomb and could be targeted through mass messaging and email spamming the offending character across any open social platforms.