A simple 8-letter message is permanently breaking people's Skype apps

Microsoft ceo satya nadellaAPSatya Nadella, CEO of Skype’s parent company Microsoft.

There’s a nasty new bug going around Skype, VentureBeat reports — it’s an 8-letter message that can break the recipient’s app so badly they need to totally reinstall it.

It’s similar to another bug currently at large on iPhones. Receiving a certain string of unicode characters on iOS can cause Messages and other apps to crash, and even force the device to reboot entirely.

The bug is caused by a failure to render the unicode characters properly.

Now, a similar bug has been discovered on messaging app Skype, and it’s even more disruptive. While the iOS bug can be fixed, the Skype one can crash the recipient’s app permanently. VentureBeat reports that in a forum post (that has since apparently been deleted), a user writes that “clearing chat history not helps, because when skype download chat history from server, it will crash again.”

In short, the offending message will crash the app when received, and it can’t be deleted because Skype helpfully backs everything up — meaning that the app will continue to crash, forever. It apparently affects Android, iOS, and older versions of Windows, but not OS X or modern Windows. Business Insider tested the bug and confirmed that it works.

To be able to re-use Skype, users need to get the sender to delete the message on their end so that they can then delete their message history and reinstall the app completely.

Here’s the offending message:


Skype told VentureBeat that “We are aware of the problem and are working to provide an resolution.” Business Insider has also reached out and will update this story when Skype responds.

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