iMessageSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • A very strange text bug is crashing iOS devices.
  • It involves receiving a text containing a certain Sindhi language character.
  • Receiving a message with the character can cause your iOS device to crash.

A very strange iOS text bug seems to be crashing iOS devices running all current versions of Apple's iOS 13 operating system.

EverythingApplePro shared a video highlighting how receiving a specific text containing a Sindhi character was causing iOS devices to become unresponsive, requiring the phone to be restarted.

The problem has also been picked up on Reddit, which notes that the new problem is similar to a Telegu text issue that previously plagued iOS:

A new string of characters is making the rounds similar to the Telugu text that would cause iOS to crash. CaptureTheFlag is similar in that it hooks CoreText to replace any occurrences of it with "Unsupported characters". It only seems to be triggered by a notification as of right now. Available on my repo and will be on BigBoss later.

Direct deb download

Source is available here, it was written quickly so the code might not be perfect, feel free to make pull requests to improve it.

Whilst the fix offered here is only for jailbroken devices, the issue is the same. The problem seems to be affecting not only iMessage but Twitter as well, as noted by users including Ben Gesking:

Reports from Reddit and AppleInsider have suggested the problem relates to a combination of the Sindhi language Character and the Italian flag, however, EAP's Twitter video showed him recreating the bug using the 'virus' emoji instead.

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The problem will likely have to be fixed in an upcoming version of iOS. The only current fix if your phone becomes unresponsive, is to restart your iOS device. A couple of reports have suggested that the problem might have been fixed in Apple's iOS 13.4.5 Beta 2:

Let us know if you've been experiencing similar issues!

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