'Black Dot' Unicode bug crashes iOS Messages app using invisible characters

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by RickAgresta, May 9, 2018.

  1. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    A malicious message dubbed the 'Black Dot' message has started doing the rounds on iOS following circulation on Android devices, one that takes advantage of a bug in Unicode to crash Apple's Messages app on iPhones and iPads running iOS 11.3 and the beta releases of iOS 11.4.

    Revealed by EverythingApplePro on YouTube, the message consists of a black dot emoji and a hand pointing to it, sent through the Messages app to another user. The malicious message is capable of crashing Messages once opened, with the issue persisting even if the user forcibly closes the app and re-opens it.

    The flaw is similar to another malicious message that recently affected Android users in WhatsApp. A specially-crafted message inviting people to tap on the black dot would crash WhatsApp, but crucially only causing the crash if the symbol is tapped, rather than immediately locking up Messages as found in the iOS version.

    Both are seemingly based on the same Unicode text bug, involving a string of thousands of hidden characters, usually used for functions like telling the application if the following text reads from left-to-right or right-to-left, for example. Using thousands of these conflicting characters in succession tasks the processor and consumes vast amounts of memory in the process, in turn causing the crash.

    Link: https://appleinsider.com/articles/1...s-ios-messages-app-using-invisible-characters
    EdmundDantes and lelisa13p like this.
  2. lelisa13p

    lelisa13p Your Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Thanks for the heads up.
    RickAgresta likes this.

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