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Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

IPhone 'chaiOS' bug can freeze your phone with a single link


A newly discovered bug can affect iPhone through a single text message, according to software developer Abraham Masri. You don't want your gadget to get infected with malware, ransomware, or a bug that causes all kinds of technical issues.

The security flaw called "chaiOS", found in iOS can crash the Messages app and freeze or restart your phone upon receiving a text message containing a specially-engineered website link. This bug won't cause your device to crash or damage itself permanently, but it is a pain in the ass. Messages app will not load any messages and will continue to crash.

Masri initially hosted the bug on GitHub, but this link, along with a number of other mirrors uploaded by third-parties, has now been taken down by the site. Specifically, for iOS devices, sending the link will cause the recipient's messages app to freeze, crash, and delete messages.

You can also block the Github domain in Safari, but that won't work if someone has posted the code on a different domain. Many say the Messages app becomes completely unusable through constant crashing, especially if they try to re-enter the conversation. The nature of the link means that it is not necessary for people to click on it for it to cause issues with their device.

After posting about the "chaiOS" bug on the GitHub page, it was taken down by administrators before being restored a few hours later. Masri claims to have reported the bug already.

You are affected by this bug if your device runs iOS 10.0 through 11.2.5 Beta 5 and some macOS computers.

On Thursday, Apple said a fix is coming in a software update next week.

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