It has emerged that Apple’s mobile operating system has a bug that will make one’s iPhone to crash if a certain text message is sent to the phone.
The news emerged that Apple’s iOS 8 operating system has a bug that allows malicious hackers to deliberately crash any iPhone or iPad within range of a wi-fi hotspot.
It is said that the message, which contains the word ‘Power’ as well as Arabic and Marathi characters and the Chinese character meaning ‘redundant’ is only effective in crashing an iPhone and rebooting it if sent from Apple handset running iOS 8 to another.
According to foreign media, if an iPhone user receives the text(right), containing a mixture of specific words and characters, while their handset is locked the bug also forces their phone to reboot.
British tabloid, Mirror, reported that some of the paper’s staff tested it on a few unsuspecting targets, and it didn’t work on all iPhones – but when it did, it was hilarious.
Apple fan site MacRumours additionally said they have tested the message and revealed it will crash any iPhone running the latest iOS 8.3 operating system.
Because the characters used in the message are specific, most people will not experience any problems accidentally.
And anyone who does, was likely picked out as a target, by either someone malicious or by friends as some sort of hi-tech annoying prank.
Thousands of people have taken to Twitter to share the text, as well as bemoan being sent it by tiresome friends today.
Reactions range from anger, such as ‘Send me the text message that turns my iPhone off and I will turn yours off by throwing it out of a window!’ to fear: ‘Someone sent me that stupid message that turns your iPhone off and it messed up my phone so I can’t get in my messages. Someone help please.’
While some may find the prank tedious, the bug has panicked other users who have reset their handsets in desperation to get them working again.
It’s not known who made or discovered it in the first place. However, there are some relatively easy ways to fix handsets.
Victims of the bug can ask the same person, via another form of communication, who sent them the malicious message to send it again – effectively cancelling out the bug.
They can also reportedly send themselves a message from a Mac computer, one via Siri or a picture message to reverse the chaos caused by the original text.
Apple has issued a statement promising to work around it.
“We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update,” the multinational technology company said.