A new iOS bug has been found that is disguised in symbols and Arabic characters. The bug crashes the system and causes an iPhone to restart.
A Reddit user first reported the bug, which is a message that contains symbols and Arabic characters. When the message is received as text or iMessage and the user tries to open it, the handset automatically reboots. The bug works on iPhone as well as iPads.
While the bug is currently reported to only switch off a device, it is not unlikely that the bug is capable to perform other malicious activities as well.
"I wonder what other things we can control with this, rather than just 'power off the device,' " says Reddit user that_c00l_kid, who reported the bug.
The Reddit user also found that the bug does not reboot the handset if in safe mode. If a user's iPhone is jailbroken and the user tries to open the specific message, the handset takes the user to safe mode. The bug seems to affect iPhones running on iOS 8.1.2 as well.
"I just received this message in a group text and it actually turned my phone off," per another Reddit user.
The bug does not cause an iPhone to reboot if the message is received as part of normal Messages conversation, which suggests that the issue is in iOS Notifications.
"It's a bug within the Notification System. After a few trials, I found that the phone only resets when the message is received as a drop down notification or in the lock screen," added another Reddit user. "If the user is viewing their conversations list or is viewing the conversation with the individual who is sending it the phone will not reset."
Currently, there is no exact fix for the bug; however, some experts suggest that turning off Messages previews for Notifications may fix the problem. In case Messages has crashed, AppleInsider suggests that sending an image from Photo, sending a message to yourself or receiving a new message fixes the issue.
Apple engineers are aware of the issue and are working on a fix. As many people are affected by the bug, Apple may soon release an update that will address the problem.