Apple to Fix Telugu Character Bug Causing Devices to Crash in Minor iOS Update

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Apple has confirmed that a fix for a recently discovered bug that causes apps like Messages to crash on iPhone, iPad, and Mac has been included in iOS 11.3, macOS 10.13.4, watchOS 4.3, and tvOS 11.3, updates that are currently being beta tested ahead of a release this spring.

Furthermore, Apple told iMore's Rene Ritchie that the bug will also be addressed in an upcoming iOS update that will be released in the near future, ahead of iOS 11.3, so customers won't need to wait several weeks for a fix. Minor updates for other operating systems will likely come at the same time.


The bug, induced by sending a specific character in the Indian language Telugu, causes certain apps on iPhones, iPads, and Macs to freeze up and become unresponsive. Messages, Safari, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other apps that accept text input are all affected.

When the character is sent in an iMessage, for example, it can freeze up the entire Messages app on all of a person's Mac and iOS devices. The Messages app will then refuse to function properly until the offending character is removed by deleting the conversation with the person who sent it.

In some situations, if the character is viewed through an iOS notification, it can cause the entire device to crash, resulting in a re-spring or worse.

Apple users who have received a message with the character will, as mentioned above, need to delete the Messages conversation with the person who sent the character. Alternatively, installing the iOS 11.3 or macOS 10.13.4 betas will fix the problem.

Article Link: Apple to Fix Telugu Character Bug Causing Devices to Crash in Minor iOS Update
 

agsystems

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2013
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This seems like a recurring semi-weekly occurrence. Maybe it's time to dump Messages and rewrite it from scratch with safe coding practices.
Agreed...but if you think about it - having a free form platform like Messages that needs to accept anything (i.e., characters, numbers, binary, picture, video, emoji, etc) must be hunting task to completely secured.
 

lkrupp

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2004
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What nose-picker adult living in their mom’s basement discover this bug?
Actually it was discovered by an Italian developer. There have to be at least a couple of million Indians using iOS by now. Why didn’t they scream bloody murder immediately?
[doublepost=1518728203][/doublepost]
This seems like a recurring semi-weekly occurrence. Maybe it's time to dump Messages and rewrite it from scratch with safe coding practices.
Maybe time for you to switch platforms and be happy. But then there’s the serious Skype bug that Microsoft says is too much trouble to fix right now, and all the Android flaws that will never be patched because the carriers don’t care.
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
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Home is everywhere and nowhere.
As I said in the last article concerning this bug "non issue"

And as for this article on this issue, why not update the last article instead of another one a few hours later, if we create another thread on an issue it gets merged with the other one, so merge this into the last one.
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
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Home is everywhere and nowhere.
Actually it was discovered by an Italian developer. There have to be at least a couple of million Indians using iOS by now. Why didn’t they scream bloody murder immediately?
This wasn't a single character as you can see in the above picture, it's followed by another character, that single character won't do any harm, together with another 1 (or more) it does.
 

crushna

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2015
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This character/alphabet/word from my mother tongue is very very rarely used in a general conversation. Its is both hard to pronounce and also write . I am very surprised to actually somebody using this particular alphabet and found it to break the code. It must be someone who know the code
 

sdf

macrumors regular
Jan 29, 2004
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This seems like a recurring semi-weekly occurrence. Maybe it's time to dump Messages and rewrite it from scratch with safe coding practices.
Doesn't sound like it's a Messages bug, but something in iOS's text rendering. Should be easy for them to add some fuzzed automated testing for problems this. Might not catch everything, but would be better.
 

brian3uk

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2016
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Yeah installing the 11.3 beta isn't really a good solution. Messages crashes constantly for me ever since I tried to enable icloud for messages. yuck. Had to roll back and now my watch wont pair since its 4.3. ahhh betas.
 

daveak

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Jun 28, 2009
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So this isn't the first time a unicode problem has caused crashes. What is going on at Apple? After the first time you write a test which walks through every single character and tries to display it. Test fails when it crashes. Run test. Fix all crashes, problems solved. Why haven't they done this? Creating the test is 5 minutes work (admittedly the fixes won't be)
 

zokstar

macrumors regular
Aug 15, 2016
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Sydney
Does anyone have/know a work around for this? Its ****ed my messages so hard! I cannot delete or go back to the main message screen :(
 

nt5672

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Jun 30, 2007
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So this isn't the first time a unicode problem has caused crashes. What is going on at Apple? After the first time you write a test which walks through every single character and tries to display it. Test fails when it crashes. Run test. Fix all crashes, problems solved. Why haven't they done this? Creating the test is 5 minutes work (admittedly the fixes won't be)
But there is no time for this, when everyone has been assigned to the next big thing. Which we probably don't need anyway! But you can't have a keynote without the next big thing! What Cook wants he gets.
 

falainber

macrumors 68000
Mar 16, 2016
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Wild West
Something is not right here. Why is the character an integral part of the OS that requires OS update? Can they be treated as some app or a collateral data or something with their own versioning and update mechanism?
 

sdf

macrumors regular
Jan 29, 2004
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After the first time you write a test which walks through every single character and tries to display it.
I'm not sure about this bug, but these crashes are very often caused by sequences of Unicode characters not a single character. The latest spec is 136,755 characters. So assume a test sequence length of 3: 2,557,582,440,568,875 combinations.

Brute force can't fix everything.