By Mark Wierzbicki, Jan 18 2018 02:37PM
A "text bomb" is a Text which can crash any device. In this case it has been reported that this particular one crashes iPhones and Apple computers.
All that is required is for a phone to be sent a text message that contains a link to the bug's code, security researchers claim. When that happens, the Mac or iOS device that receives it crashes, and will generally need to restart.
It's not the first time that iPhones have been found to be vulnerable to a text message that could cause it to break. While the issue isn't strictly a security problem (as it doesn't give access to anything sensitive on the phone, and doesn't break it permanently) but it can be very annoying and worrying to anyone who experiences it.
Software developer Abraham Masri initially posted a link to the code on programming site but has since removed it, saying: "I made my point. Apple and the Apple community need to take such bugs more seriously."
He said he had reported the bug to Apple before releasing it online, but its removal means malicious messages can no longer be sent linking to it.
The technology giant has not yet made a comment on the issue, however you can expect a security update relatively soon.
The flaw has been named ChaiOS (a play on the words chaos and iOS, Apple's mobile operating system) but is regarded by security experts as a "nuisance" rather than dangerous.
Industry expert Graham Cluley said: "Something about the so-called ChaiOS bug's code gives your Apple device a brainstorm. Ashamed about the mess it gets itself in, Messages decides the least embarrassing thing to do is to crash, thus freezing the equipment, and the need to reboot.”
"It is a nasty bit of code, but, thankfully, it is more of a nuisance than something that will lead to data being stolen from your computer or a malicious hacker being able to access your files.
The flaw is similar to the Effective Power bug which hit iPhone devices in 2015, when a set of characters sent as a text message could cause an iPhone to switch off and or reboot.
It is unclear if because of Apple’s resurgence as a computing power if the pretence that viruses and malware for these devices doesn’t exist. However it would open a new revenue stream for the Anti virus / malware industry.
Don't get me started on Microsoft!