back to article Siri, please save my iPhone from the messages of death

Apple has published a temporary workaround for iPhones blighted by incoming text messages that cause them to crash and restart – and it involves asking Siri for help. A specially crafted sequence of unicode triggers a fatal bug in a core component of iOS and OS X. If the data is sent in a text message, it will crash an iThing …

  1. Mr Dogshit

    This is clearly a hoax

    Seeing as all Apple products are perfect and are worth every penny.

  2. FartingHippo

    Bring back the good 'ole days

    Would never have happened on my 3310.

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: Bring back the good 'ole days

      Don't you remember the full stops of death? Not sure if that affected 3310's. But it was a lot cooler to make your text messages flash on Nokia phones!

    2. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Re: Bring back the good 'ole days

      Unfortunately, Nokia and other manufacturers have had similar bugs in SMS, like the stuff in this The Register article:

  3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    So Apple failed at the basics

    ie, never trust user entered data, always, ALWAYS sanitise it before acting on it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hell, I didn't trust the OS, always, always did a sanity check on everything from it. [I didn't trust my code, sanity checking (contracts between blocks) too.]

  5. The Vociferous Time Waster


    didnt this happen and get patched last year? Is this another string of text or just a hopelessly out of date article?

  6. Pookietoo

    So Apple thought Siri wasn't getting used enough

    and introduced this novel promotional tool to get iTards talking to their shiny stuff.

  7. David Kelly 2

    Apple or NSA?

    This smells of the kind of thing the NSA would insist upon as a back door. Then again Apple is on record claiming no back doors so perhaps an employee acted alone.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Apple or NSA?

      You mean you think the NSA asked for a method to crash the notification screen on Apple products and Apple obliged?

      Two questions: Why and why?

      I mean I know that the septics have a massive big guvmint conzpirassy fetish, but this is really taking the piss.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Magical and game cha

  9. Shades

    Not Just Notifications (Maybe)

    "it will crash an iThing when it is displayed as a notification"

    Anecdotally it would appear, on the 5C at least, to crash the phone when opening the messaging app too, rather than just viewing the notification. Then again, the phone belongs to the girlfriend of my nephew and, considering both are in their late teens, neither of them are that technologically minded so when they say it also crashes by going directly into the messaging app I'm not entirely convinced they're directly going into the messaging app.

    Anyway, a factory reset solved the problem (until the next numpty sends the message again!)

    1. imaginarynumber

      Re: Not Just Notifications (Maybe)

      He might well be telling the truth, apparently the code also crashes several apps such as twitter and whatsapp.

      The Apple "fix" only seems to help resolve issues with iMessage and not the apps.

  10. Fair Dinkum

    Much easier

    .. Just go into "Edit" and delete the whole conversation, without opening the specific message. Someboy sends you a "prank", they can get stuffed anyway.

  11. shahzadafzal
    Thumb Down

    unable to reply using siri

    My iphone message app is crashing due to this text message bug... and sender is some unknown number... that messages is already read... now siri will not read old messages and i can't reply... how to fix this? any help.. how to make siri to reply to old message?

    1. AlbertH

      Re: unable to reply using siri

      Throw your iRubbish into the nearest trash can and buy a basic phone. You'll still be able to make calls and send texts, but you won't be able to be duped into opening malicious texts by your "friends"

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is already a fix for jailbroken iphones running iOS 8: "IneffectivePower" in the Cydia store.

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