Apple fixed a flaw that let people 'bomb' your iPhone and cause it to stop working

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  • Some Apple products including the iPhone would crash when sent a specific series of Telugu or Bengali letters.
  • Apple fixed the “text bomb” bug in a software update.

Apple pushed an minor update to iPhone and iPad software over the weekend that fixed a major flaw.

People had discovered that certain series of Telugu or Bengali characters could cause iOS apps to crash and fall into a reboot loop, making the phone unusable.

So, of course, people were posting the text to Twitter and other social media, where the bug was called the “telugu bug,” the “killer symbol,” or a “text bomb.”

The issue is corrected in iOS 11.2.6, which you can download now. The “.6” at the end of the update string suggests that this is a “point update,” or a minor, out-of-cycle release meant to fix bugs. Apple also released fixes for Mac computers and the Apple Watch.

To protect yourself, you can update your phone on Settings > General > Software Update.

Here are the iOS release notes:

  • Fixes an issue where using certain character sequences could cause apps to crash
  • Fixes an issue where some third-party apps could fail to connect to external accessories

If you’d like to learn more about how the Telugu bug works, here is a fantastic technical explanation.

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