A new text bomb threatens Apple devices, a single character can crash any apple iPhone, iPad Or Mac

Pierluigi Paganini February 16, 2018

Researchers discovered a new dangerous text bomb that crashes Apple devices, only a single character of the Indian Telugu language could create the chaos.

A new ‘text bomb’ threatens Apple devices, just a single character of the Indian alphabet (precisely the
Telugu language, a Dravidian language spoken in India by about 70 million people) can crash your device and block access to the Messaging app in iOS, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Outlook for iOS, Gmail, Safari and Messages for the macOS versions.

The issue seems not affect the beta versions of iOS 11.3 and Telegram and Skype applications.

First spotted by Italian Blog Mobile World, the text bomb affects a wide range of Apple devices, including iPads, Macs and even Watch OS devices running the latest versions of OS.

apple text bomb

The news of the bug was first reported on the Italian Blog Mobile World, the issue can be it can be easily exploited by anyone just by sending a message containing the Telugu character to the recipient.

Once the recipient receives the message or typed the Telugu symbol into the text editor, its Apple device will crash.

To fix the issue on the device that is crashing after received the text bomb is possible to send a message to the app that is crashing.

According to the bug report published on OpenRadar:

“When iOS, MacOS, watchOS try to render Indian symbol ‘‘ all of it has crashed Steps to Reproduce: Try to insert ‘‘ this symbol in any system text renderer like TextField, Label, TextView it always has crashed.”

“The issue was reported to Apple a few days ago, the tech giant will likely fix the issue in the iOS update before the release of iOS 11.3 that is planned for the next spring.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – text bomb, Telugu language)

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