Texters beware! There is now a weird iMessage virus that, if sent to your iPhone, will restart your beloved little box of magic tech and then repeatedly crash iMessage. It can also screw with your iPad and Apple Watch too!
Bahm BAHM BIIIIIAHIIIUUUM!
The text includes a specific series of non-roman characters and although Apple is aware of the problem, a fix won’t be available until the next software update.
All is not totally lost – the message doesn’t actually do any damage to your phone, apart from making it hard to use your iMessage app, and even that can be rectified by another text being sent to your phone – although it has to be from the person who sent you the evil text in the first place.
The brain trust over at Reddit have come up with a theory that the message works, perhaps, by confusing the phone so much as it tries to figure out how to display the text as a notification banner, that it just gives up and reboots. Apparently sending the message through other message apps that have display notifications leads to the phone rebooting as well.
If you think you have some frenemies or mortal enemies out there that might be planning on sending you the message, maybe take a preventative measure and switch your notifications off for iMessage and other message apps. Not proven to help, but can’t hurt.
Some other fixes making the rounds are:
Send yourself a message via Siri, the share sheet, or from your Mac, or send a photo via the Photos app which can allow you to access your message history and delete the conversation.
Let’s hope you and your mortal enemy can agree that your magic tech box iPhones are off limits!!