If you have owned more than one smartphone in your lifetime, chances are you have experienced a bug that has crashed your system.
While you could probably find most bugs and fix them without damaging your phone, there is a new bug that has just surfaced on iOS that could crash your phone all from a single text.
Here's how the bug works: When the specific text message is sent and the recipient's phone is unlocked, Messages will repeatedly crash. When the text is sent and the iPhone is locked, the phone will crash, turn off, and reboot.
The bug prevents iPhone users from accessing their Messages app until the person who sent the bug sends another message.
The text, which we won't write in its entirety, includes the words "power" and "effective," along with Arabic letters. Because the text is so specific, the only way to get the bug is to be a direct target from some malicious mastermind frienemy.
A user shared the text in Reddit's Apple subreddit, which has resulted in a series of pranks to friends with iPhones as people shared their stories on Twitter.
There's a special place in hell for the person who created the black magic text that shuts your phone off
— Jason Kritzberg (@jasonkritzberg) May 27, 2015
Hey my Messages app won't open without crashing. Cool. — Nick Pomes (@NickPomes) May 27, 2015
when someone sends me the text that shuts off my phone pic.twitter.com/8hUGEyqsMa
— ċhrıs✝ıaṇ (@christian_tayyy) May 27, 2015
According to the post, there are some exceptions to the bug. If the iPhone is a jailbroken phone, the text message causes the phone to go into safe mode. The bug also won't work if the iPhone user is looking at the texts from the recipient. As long as they are anywhere else on their phone when the message is sent, their iPhone will crash.
Redditor sickestdancer98 revealed a theory to why the iPhone crashes, writing it's because of the way the banner notifications process the Unicode text. The banner tries to display the incoming text, but then "gives up" and crashes.
"Is this a possible vulnerability? Maybe. Has this been around already? Roughly since iOS 6," sickestdancer98 writes. "Can it be fixed/patched? That, my friends, is up to Apple."
It's has also been suggested that the bug is a result in how the iPhone displays Arabic text. In the case of jailbroken phones, because the phone goes into safe mode, the bug could be related to a Springboard vulnerability.
There are a few ways iPhone users could fix the bug. The first way would be for the person who sent the text to send you another message to cancel out the first one which will stop the phone from crashing. If you want to take matters into your own hands, you can send yourself a message using Siri, the share sheet or by using your Mac.
Another option is to open Photos and send a picture to the person who sent the text. Then go into iMessage and delete the conversation. If your phone has the bug, you can also go to Settings > Notifications > Messages. Make sure the "Show on Lock Screen tab is off," and "none" is selected for alert style when unlocked.
There have also been reports that none of these options repair the phone. We can only hope that Apple will fix this bug soon.
Photo: John Karakatsanis | Flickr