A new malicious text message is once again crashing iPhones, freezing the iMessage app and persisting even after a hard reset, but it's not unfixable.
The problematic message contains an attachment to a large contact file sent via iCloud Drive. The iMessage app can't process the file and freezes altogether, crashing iPhones running several iOS versions from iOS 9 to the latest iOS 10.2.1 beta.
The malicious text renders the iMessage app keyboard useless and while users can close the app from the multitasking page, the problem persists. Upon re-opening the app, the iPhone only shows a blank screen.
iMessage Not Working
Once an iPhone user receives the prank text message and opens the attachment, the iMessage app crashes and sending or receiving text messages is no longer possible. It seems that closing the app, rebooting the phone or even performing a hard reset fails to fix the problem, but fortunately there's one solution that can get rid of the malicious bug.
iMessage Crash Fix
An easy workaround can solve the problem in this case, and it only involves opening an URL on the Safari browser. The website that can fix the issue comes from Vincedes3, who posted a video on YouTube demonstrating how the hack works. According to Cult of Mac, Vincedes3 also created the hack in the first place.
If the Apple-centric publication is correct, it seems Vincedes3 came up with the hack as well as the solution, so those who are mischievous enough to send the malicious text as a prank can also tell the victim how to fix it by directing them to the special website.
Opening the website in Safari will trigger an automated process to fix the crash and restore the native iMessage app to a working condition. Once it's done, it will display a message screen saying "I have just saved your iPhone bro ;)" in the messaging app.
After accessing the website in question, the iMessage app will resume working normally.
Apple should also fix this issue with a new OTA update soon, as not all affected customers may be aware of the website workaround. Until it does, however, it may be best to steer clear of any huge text files you receive on iMessage, and be extra careful when opening any attachments. If you receive an unknown file via a text message, you might not want to open it.
To get a better idea of how this malicious iMessage text hack works, check out the video below.