Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Glitches (involving non-standard characters in text messages) and WiFi hacks can disable iPhones

Recently, some Reddit users discovered a major bug in the iPhone iOS that causes it to crash and reboot (accounts are varied) if it receives a specific sequence of non-Latin and Arabic characters in a text message.  Since this is so unlikely by chance, it’s apparent that pranskters could target specific users. CNN money link is here. The Guardian has a similar story here.   Some experts recommend disabling the preview of text messages (which appear on your film when you hear a bing). Some say the iMessage is wiped out, but messages can be sent with the iPhoto app.  Temporarily, iPhone owners can disable notifications of messages (not too convenient in a disco, and maybe not when waiting for a cab or for flight status).  

Another report says that a WiFi hack can disable all iPhones and iPads in a particular area, link here
Apple is working on fixes for these problems and updates should be expected soon.  Another problem with iMessage was already fixed.

Update: May 29

Apple has announced a temporary fix here.  You need to read its linked explanation of Siri, which I have never used.  Don't know it this works on iPad, too. 

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