Home » iOS Bug Spreads: Is Your Smartphone at Risk?

iOS Bug Spreads: Is Your Smartphone at Risk?

by Kurt Knutsson

A single text message could crash your entire phone. Apple’s text messaging bug that can crash iPhones with simple text also affects Twitter and permanently breaks Snapchat text chat. What is this and what can you do to protect yourself?


The booby-trapped “text of death” message shows up in Arabic, Marathi and Chinese. The iOS bug allows a simple snapchat text, chat and can be sent via twitter direct messages or mentions. No one has reported being sent these sorts of messages through Instagram just yet, but if you’re worried you might crash your device through Instagram direct messages, you may want to use an alternative to instagram dms online and instead use desktop software that will allow you to delete these messages before you open them.

textofdeathexampleApple devices that are vulnerable include:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Apple Watch
  • Mac

This bug can do damage if sent through:

  • Apple messages app
  • Snapchat
  • Whatsapp
  • Twitter – either direct messages or public tweets


An apple spokesperson shared with CyberGuy the following official statement:
“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.”

In the meantime, Apple has created a three step recovery process in case you fall victim to the text bug.

Apple’s recovery page outlines a 3 step process to fix a booby-trapped iPhone:

  • ask siri to “read unread messages”.
  • use siri to reply to the malicious message. After you reply, you’ll be able to open messages again.
  • in messages, swipe left to delete the entire thread. Alternatively you can tap and hold the malicious message, tap More, and delete the message from the thread.

Those wanting to protect themselves from the text of death can disable notifications, but that will not prevent snapchat and other third-party apps from being disabled.

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