There is a newly discovered flaw on Apple devices that is called the chaiOS bug, and it can potentially cause machines that run on iOS and MacOS platforms to lock up, crash, and even restart. The bug was first spotted by Twitter user Abraham Masri, who claims that apart from freezes and restarts, the chaiOS bug also causes other problems like resprings and battery issues, and possibly more.
The chaiOS bug comes in the form of an ordinary GitHub link. But when this link is sent to another user by way of a text through the iMessage app, the recipient’s iOS or MacOS powered device will exhibit some problems. Just to be perfectly clear, the flaw does not appear to have any lasting damage on affected devices. But most Apple users will agree that it is pretty annoying. Still, for those users who actually have the misfortune of encountering the chaiOS bug, they might be relieved to know that there is a fix -- they can just refer to the replies to Masri’s original post in order to gain some insight. For those who will find themselves receiving a link that they suspect may carry the chaiOS bug, they should probably delete the whole message thread right away (that is, if they can).
How exactly does the flaw work? What happens is that whenever it gets a text message that comes with an embedded URL, the iMessage app will automatically connect to the information superhighway in order to retrieve a thumbnail preview of that link. However, if that link consists of a ridiculous amount of characters (like hundreds of thousands, for instance), iMessage will proceed to locking up the device. As reported by BuzzFeed News, the chaiOS bug affects basically any device or machine that has installed iOS versions 10.0 to 11.2.5 beta 5.
Apple may not feel the need to quickly deploy a fix, given the fact that the chaiOS bug does not seem to cause serious damage on iOS and MacOS running machines. But considering that the tech giant may still be reeling from the last few weeks’ old iPhone battery related issues, one can argue that the company simply does not need any new negative publicity right now.
As for users of Apple devices, perhaps the least they can do is be wary of the flaw, and have the sense to not send a text containing the chaiOS bug to other people (on the other hand, pranksters will always be pranksters).
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