An exploit in CoreText, the font rendering framework in current, publicly available versions of iOS and OS X, has been discovered that can cause apps to crash. According to habrahabr.ru, it can be remotely triggered via SMS or iMessage, Safari, and even the ESSID of a Wi-Fi network when scanning for and displaying them. Our security editor, Nick Arnott, has been looking into it this morning and shared the following:
- OS X 10.8.4 - Receiving the string in iMessage will crash it. You can restart iMessage without it crashing and delete the conversation.
- OS X Mavericks - Doesn't crash Messages or Safari.
- iOS 7 - Doesn't crash Messages or Safari.
- iOS 6 - System crashes after receiving message. After rebooting, Messages will crash every time you try to open it.
Here's his workaround for iOS 6:
If you receive a new message from somebody (who didn't send the offending text) you can tap to open that message directly. You will be able to access this message and respond to that person. If the person who send the offending message sends you enough messages to push the offending one off the screen, you will also be able to open messages from them from an alert to respond, but scrolling up will crash. In all cases trying to go back to the main list of messages will crash. A workaround for this is to sign out of iMessage, sign in to a different account, sign out, then sign back in with your original account. This will remove any previous messages you had on the device.
Also, that clearing of message history may require you to view or delete the offending message on another device (iOS 7 device or OS X) to ensure that it doesn't show up when you sign back in to iMessage.
You can also continue to send new messages to people from the Contacts or Photos app.
In the meantime, just like the previous FIle:/// exploit that caused crashes on OS X, it probably won't amount to much cause for real-world concern. Unless you have friends who are complete dicks and would delight in messing with you this way, or unless and until there are wide spread reports of this exploit turning up in the wild, it's probably not worth spending much time worrying about.
Nick Arnott contributed significantly to this article.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Plan your day with Hour Blocks and its amazing iOS 14 Home screen widgets
Planning your day is no fun but sometimes you find an app that goes some way to making it less boring. Hour Blocks does a decent job and it looks lovely, too.
Scribble Together gets the coolest iOS 14 App Clip we've seen so far
Scribble Together has released its new App Clip for Scribble Together, which will allow users to collaborate on a Scribble Together whiteboard even if they don't have the app.
TikTok is being banned in the U.S. from Sunday, September 20
The U.S. Department of Commerce will ban TikTok and WeChat from U.S app stores from Sunday.
These HomeKit cameras work with iOS14's Face Recognition and Activity Zones
iOS 14 brings some powerful new capabilities to HomeKit Secure Video-enabled cameras like Face Recognition and Activity Zones. Here's all of the cameras and doorbells that support the latest and greatest HomeKit features.