Emoji prank crashes iPhones, Latest Tech News - The New Paper

Emoji prank crashes iPhones

A bug in iOS is being exploited in a prank aimed at crashing iPhones and iPads using the power of simple text, flag and rainbow emojis, reported The Guardian.

The bug has two variants - one text string includes a waving white flag emoji, a zero, a rainbow and a hidden character called a variation selector, which can be copied into an iMessage conversation and sent to anyone.

The other is the same string of characters, but embedded within a contacts file, which can be shared via iCloud Drive to an iMessage contact.

Both will crash an iPhone or iPad to varying degrees, although the text string sent via a standard iMessage only appears to affect iPhones and iPads with iOS 10.1 or below.

The booby-trapped contact card affects all versions of iOS 10, including the latest iOS 10.2.

Users who sent either the emojis via iMessage or the contact card saw their iPhone or iPad crash after a short period of time, either resulting in a full lock-up requiring a reboot, or a partial lockup that triggered a quick reboot.

Users will need to delete their iMessage conversation with whichever prankster sent them the bugged message to avoid repeated crashes.