CUPERTINO (CBS NEWS) – A particular string of character sent by text message can cause an iPhone’s messaging app to crash, or shut down the phone.
The message, revealed on Reddit late Tuesday, seems to exploit an inability of the app’s preview feature to correctly render the characters, which are not the standard alphanumerics or emoticons one typically texts. After repeated attempts, the app crashes, leaving the user unable to send or receive texts as usual.
“Just a strange, little, quirky bug, when a certain Arabic character text message can cause your phone to say I don’t know how to abbreviate this to make a notification out of it, so I’m gonna crash,” explained Brian Cooley, a technology analyst at CNET.
If the message is received while the phone is on the lock screen, it causes the phone to reboot.
Apple confirmed the issue to CNBC Wednesday and said they were working on a fix.
Cooley told KPIX 5 that this glitch is more fodder for pranksters than a major problem for Apple.
“I don’t think there’s anything nefarious here, I don’t think it’s a secret message from ISIS. I think this is just some weird amount of code. As far as the phone knows, this is just a bunch of ones and zeroes, but this particular bunch is one that’s having a hard time shortening,” Cooley said.
Similar tricks have popped up in the past and Apple has been quick to fix them with an update. Get more on this story from CBS News.