With every new iOS build there seems to be a way to crash it, breach it or do something else malicious with it.
This time, for iOS 10 and all its iterations, iPhone users need to be wary about a couple of simple text messages that are going around. If you receive either, your phone will freeze and become unresponsive, even if you don't open the text.
The first is the simplest, it consists of a number and a couple of emojis and crashes any iPhone running iOS 10 to 10.1.1.
The second is a little more complicated, but works on any iOS 10 device - tested up to 10.2.1. What's worse, this one also works even when the phone is locked.
There really isn't any way to stop the texts coming through, bar pre-emptively deleting any so-called friends you might suspect of sending one. But you can do a couple of things after to stop your phone continually crashing.
The first, simple text, as revealed by EverythingApplePro in an in-depth YouTube video, is made up of a white flag, a zero and a rainbow emoji. There is also a hidden VS16 character that tells the two emojis to combine to make a rainbow flag. Unfortunately, iOS 10 cannot handle the request and crashes the phone instead.
Luckily, your phone will restart after a while but you should still delete the message thread that contains the malicious text. If you can't get into the Messages app to do so, here are the steps to help:
- Launch Safari on your phone
- Go to vincedes3.com/save.html
- This will bring up a dialogue box saying "Open this page in Messages"
- Click "Open" and it will place the message in your Messages app
- Delete the malicious text thread and the Vincedes text too
The second text is a bit more destructive because it works on all versions of iOS 10 to date. It can also continue to crash your device. It requires a longer process to create the text, downloadable from a link we won't share here, so hopefully will deter idiot pranksters. You should be able to follow the steps above in that case too, after your phone has restarted.
Alternatively, you can ask Siri to send a message to yourself, which will create a new message and therefore stop your iPhone from promoting the malicious one to the top. Hopefully, you'll then be able to go back into Messages to delete it.
EverythingApplePro explains both texts in the video below...