Messages : Apple fixes a problem that could completely block an iPhone

The team of the “Project Zero” in Google reveals a bug in Messages causing a complete blockage of the iPhone. This is a new problem caused by a message intentionally ill-formed, much more complex than the previous, and significantly more severe as it imposes the restoration of the device. Don’t expect to be able to make a bad joke to your ennamis, this bug is already resolved.

Problem of management of the characters of the abjad Arabic, crash when receiving a card-vCard imposing, panic in the face of the black spots, “bomb” text with a link… each year from its bug related Messages. The one discovered by Natalie Silvanovich, an expert in computer security at Google, involves a message that contains a property with a key IMExtensionPayloadLocalizedDescriptiontextkey associated with a value that is not a string of characters.

This is the beginning of a chain reaction, Messages calling consecutively three methods with incorrect data, up to crash. On Mac, this bug leads to a crash of the process soagent, which, however, leaves immediately. Things more serious on the iPhone : the Springboard itself plant loop, thus preventing any interaction with the device, even after a forced restart.

According to the researcher, only a full restore can take again the hand. After you have found a bug, the team of Project Zero notifies the manager, and keeps the secret for 90 days. Apple has fixed the problem in the meantime : Natalie Silvanovich is credited in the release notes of iOS 12.3, for this problem, as well as another quite similar one, that key Mail.