3 On Your Side

Mysterious text message crashing some iPhones

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Usually there's quite a bit of hype that comes with the release of the latest Apple iPhone. But now a new hi-tech issue has surfaced that is turning the hype into headaches for millions of iPhone users. Ken Colburn is a tech expert with Data Doctors.

"We have a newly discovered bug in the Apple iMessage system which would allow one iPhone to crash another iPhone causing it basically to reboot." The mysterious text message that's causing all the fuss is a specific string of characters including some in Arabic. When you get the message your iPhone may crash. "It's a pretty obscure bug because it uses Arabic characters. This is not something that you and I would normally integrate with," Colburn says.

Colburn says the new bug affects iPhones but not necessarily all iPhones. "This is not working on all phones. Some people are basically immune to this issue, others depending on what systems, which version of the OIS system they have and what have you. That's going to determine whether they can be hit by this bug or not."

But is the strange text message an attempt to infiltrate your phone and steal your information? Colburn says don't worry. "There are absolutely no concerns about security, stealing your information. There's no issue here. There's no hacking going on. There's nothing else, just what's called a bug, just an error in coding that allowed this anomaly, phenomenon to occur."

3 On Your Side got hold of Apple to see how long the annoying text message will be popping up and bugging iPhone users. In an email to us they simply say, "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."

 "If you want to play it safe until Apple fixes thiss, the best way to do thi, it's kind of an inconvenience, you have to turn off the message notification. If you do that you basically protect yourself against this particular bug," says Colburn.

Again, if you have an iPhone and you get the message, there's no need to be concerned. Colburn says the text message remains nothing more than an annoying prank. The Apple workaround can be found by visiting the following link. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204897

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