In my college days I had a friend called Bill. He was pursuing Comp Science. For his third year and fourth year project, Bill was working on a system that could allow people to remotely shutdown their PCs by sending a text message to the PC. That was a big deal by that time, and I think still is. I need to ask Bill what happened to his project.
The problem that he sort to solve was that most people forgot to shut down their PCs, and this at times forced them to walk or drive back to the office or home just to press that power button in order to switch off that damn PC – it was a real problem. The problem affected me not more than once.
But people have progressed. Very few people still operate desktop computers as laptops and notebooks have become the standard PC in the smartphone and tablet world. And about smartphone, unless one wants to intentionally switch them off, it is the desire of everyone that they remain on indefinitely.
This is why news that you could exploit an iOS bug to remotely crash an iPhone, iPads and even the Mac is worrying iPhone and other Apple devices users. The iOS bug can be exploited by sending a string of unicode Symbols and Arabic characters as a text message to the Apple device, mostly an iPhone, then the iPhone will crash and reboot.
After rebooting and the iPhone user opens the message in a list view, the phone will crash again. But if opened as a conversation then things will be alright until the user tries to go to another conversation. Attempts to open a different conversation will again crash the iPhone. There is little one can do to get out of the headache. To remotely crash an iPhone, you need to send the message shown below to an iPhone user.
One immediate remedy is for the iPhone user to use the Personal Assistant Siri to send a message to anyone, or ask for a friend to send a message – then go back to the Message App to delete the problematic message. To prevent such a message from causing the crashes, one can visit the settings menu and turn off burner notification alongside unchecking the “Show on Unlock Screen” message option.
As the bug continues to cause headaches to most iPhone users, Apple has issued a statement that they are working to fix the bug and the fix will come with the next update of iOS. The timeline for the update has however not been given. “This is not the first time iOS has been compromised by a bug that’s capable of crashing iPhones by way of a text string. In 2013, others had discovered a text string that could crash Safari, and this also caused the messaging app to crash. The Reddit user, who goes by “sickestdancer98,” also noted that this bug has been around since iOS 6 but had not been patched”, writes TechCrunch.
Maybe Apple should contact Bill to discuss how to turn the problem into a useful application.