A newly discovered bug seems to cause Messages on iOS to crash when a specific string of text is received—and if it happens while the phone is locked, it also seems to reboot the iPhone too.
It’s easy enough to find the offending string of text on Reddit, and plenty of Twitter users are already reporting that it’s being sent around to annoy people on a global scale. Verge reports that the trick seems to work regardless of what device it’s sent from—Windows Phone, Android or iPhone itself. Obviously we don’t condone that kind of behavior, but you know, it’s there to use if you feel so inclined.
The damage can, however, be undone. If you have a Mac, you can simply reply to the offending text message in iMessage with any other string of text to stop it from crashing your iPhone. If you don’t have a Mac, you can try sending a text message from a third-party app using its ‘share’ function, ask Siri to send a reply, or beg the sender to send a follow-up text. If you know who the sender is.
“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,” an Apple spokesperson said via email.
We’ll update this post when Apple issues a fix. Until then, that simple line of text could cause some serious headaches.