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Security Bug Communications Desktops (Apple) Iphone Operating Systems Programming Software Apple

'Text Bomb' Is Latest Apple Bug (bbc.com) 60

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: A new "text bomb" affecting Apple's iPhone and Mac computers has been discovered. Abraham Masri, a software developer, tweeted about the flaw which typically causes an iPhone to crash and in some cases restart. Simply sending a message containing a link which pointed to Mr Masri's code on programming site GitHub would be enough to activate the bug -- even if the recipient did not click the link itself. Mr Masri said he "always reports bugs" before releasing them. Apple has not yet commented on the issue. On a Mac, the bug reportedly makes the Safari browser crash, and causes other slowdowns. Security expert Graham Cluley wrote on his blog that the bug does not present anything to be particularly worried about -- it's merely very annoying. After the link did the rounds on social media, Mr Masri removed the code from GitHub, therefore disabling the "attack" unless someone was to replicate the code elsewhere.
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'Text Bomb' Is Latest Apple Bug

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  • causes an iPhone to crash and in some cases restart. Simply sending a message containing a link which pointed to Mr Masri's code on programming site GitHub would be enough to activate the bug -- even if the recipient did not click the link itself. Mr Masri said he "always reports bugs" before releasing them.

    I usually love seeing such bugs in action. Anyone can point us to the video?

  • Replace CEO (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2018 @05:12PM (#55956113)

    Apple's got a real general malaise problem, lately. The fix is likely to replace the CEO and possibly other high-up executives because they've focused too much on other crap, and not on the core-business. If Tim Cook, (for example,) wants to be the CEO of a watch company, or a headphone company, let him go do that.

    Apple is a computer company, even if they removed the word "computer" from their name. Of course this is merely my opinion, but I'll tell you this for sure: unless and until Apple shapes up its act, I am not buying any more Apple products, or products that only work with Apple products. If it comes to pass that I need a new computer and/or cellphone before Apple pulls its corporate head out of its corporate ass, I will switch to something else. (Case in point, I recently obtained an old MacBook that Apple has decided is obsolete, and put GNU/Linux on it, in preparation for doing the same with my iMac, which once I don't need it for my iPhone anymore, that will be it, and I will unApplify my life. I'll probably get a dumb-phone, and go back to the days when I navigated for myself, etc., and not rely on the increasingly unreliable kludgey crap coming from Apple nowadays.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Narcocide ( 102829 )

      This seems underrated to me. Maybe ditching the CEO is going a bit too far, but they definitely need to get serious about software QA.

    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      once I don't need it for my iPhone anymore, that will be it, and I will unApplify my life. I'll probably get a dumb-phone, and go back to the days when I navigated for myself, etc., and not rely on the increasingly unreliable kludgey crap coming from Apple nowadays.

      You don't need to switch to a dumb-phone to be free of Apple junkware. Do yourself a favor, try a Samsung S8 and discover what a great experience it can be to use a truly high-end smartphone, with a gorgeous screen, conveniently expandable storage and a headphone jack. The best part is that you can achieve that without bending over for another Big Brother, you can use excellent open-source software from F-Droid.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Apple's got a real general malaise problem, lately. The fix is likely to replace the CEO and possibly other high-up executives because they've focused too much on other crap, and not on the core-business. If Tim Cook, (for example,) wants to be the CEO of a watch company, or a headphone company, let him go do that.

      Apple is a computer company, even if they removed the word "computer" from their name. Of course this is merely my opinion, but I'll tell you this for sure: unless and until Apple shapes up its act, I am not buying any more Apple products, or products that only work with Apple products. If it comes to pass that I need a new computer and/or cellphone before Apple pulls its corporate head out of its corporate ass, I will switch to something else. (Case in point, I recently obtained an old MacBook that Apple has decided is obsolete, and put GNU/Linux on it, in preparation for doing the same with my iMac, which once I don't need it for my iPhone anymore, that will be it, and I will unApplify my life. I'll probably get a dumb-phone, and go back to the days when I navigated for myself, etc., and not rely on the increasingly unreliable kludgey crap coming from Apple nowadays.

      I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Apple has been like that since the 2000's. They've just lost their cult of personality.

      They've always produced unreliable, klugey crap but previously had good marketing and a legion of rabid fanboys to attack anyone suggesting it wasn't the best thing since Jesus made pancakes out of wine.

      An Iphone 8 isn't worse than an Iphone 3, it's just that people are seeing them for the overpriced crap they are. Replacing the CEO wont do anything to change that because

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Link?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't know about all of you, but I'm getting really excited just waiting to see how SuperKendall will enlighten us all as to how this is a feature that benefits each and every disciple of the Apple world. This is gonna be good.

    +1 troll

  • As part of that crash and other slowdowns result is the user's password getting revealed in plain text again?
  • If it can't be expressed in ASCII, it's not worth writing.
    • Is all of ASCII really needed? My ASR-33 teletype does a fine job with just the seven bit character set. It doesn't even have lower case.

    • Re:Ban unicode (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jareth-0205 ( 525594 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @06:49PM (#55956727) Homepage

      If it can't be expressed in ASCII, it's not worth writing.

      No other languages exist in the world.

      • They do, but that's irrelevant; the barbarians can learn to use Latin script like civilized people.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Other languages exist, but Unicode sucks for encoding them. Most Japanese, Chinese and Korean software doesn't use Unicode, for example. And most software that claims to support Unicode is broken.

        We need to replace Unicode with something better. My suggestion would be:

        - 32 bit unsigned is the primary character encoding, with an 8 bit format for legacy systems like email. Compatibility modules for loading UTF8 and UTF16 will be provided. Most text is compressed when transmitted anyway (e.g. HTTP) so 32 bit c

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @06:06PM (#55956459) Journal

    Some text messages would reliably cause the phone to reboot on delivery of the message.

    This would cause an almost endless reboot cycle, until the server gave up attempting to deliver the text message (around 10-20 reboots).

  • by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Thursday January 18, 2018 @07:16PM (#55956871) Journal

    This is exactly why Unicode support is unsafe and dangerous! Thankfully Slashdot will always be a safe haven from such shenanigans.

  • Try the Wayback machine. I found it pretty easily. Really interesting trick. He made a simple HTML file with a link in it, and the HREF of that link has all kinds of crazy garbage in it (unicode characters) which cause the webkit engine to spaz out. Even copying the source out of chrome and pasting into Notepad++ made the text editor freak out a little bit.

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