How did we ever make it through life before the advent of smartphones? There are so many important things we do with these handy little gadgets it's hard to imagine being without one. One great thing smartphones have done is expand the way we communicate with others.
Apps like FaceTime and Skype allow us to speak to someone anywhere in the world, face to face. The more traditional way, of course, is through text messaging. Now there is a nasty prank going around that could infect your phone and kill your messaging app forever.
What's happening is people are receiving prank messages on their iPhone that cause the iMessage app to crash. Without having the fix, it is not recoverable.
Here is what's causing the app to crash. The victim receives a malicious link from someone through the iMessage app. Once the link is clicked on, the app gets bombarded with an overload of code, causing it to crash indefinitely.
Seriously, the iMessage app will never work again without the fix.
The malicious link is delivered through a vCard file. A vCard is a virtual business card that allows you to create and share contact information through instant messaging.
The size of a normal vCard file is around 300 lines of code. This malicious vCard, discovered by Vincedes3, has over 14,000 lines of code. A bug in Apple's iOS won't allow the iMessage app to move past this huge file.
The app freezes completely and rebooting the phone doesn't fix the problem. Every time you try and open the app, a blank screen appears.
This isn't the first time we've seen a malicious link crashing iPhones this year. We told you about this earlier, where a text with a malicious five-second video crashed your iPhone.
Fixing this crashing problem
This is a terrible prank for people to pull on anyone. If you receive a vCard message, it's probably a good idea to not click on it.
If somehow your iPhone does get hit with this problem, there could be a fix. The hacker that discovered this problem, Vincedes3, has created the solution.
What you need to do is click here on the Safari browser to open the link he's provided. Clicking on this link triggers a process that is supposed to fix the crash and return the iMessage app to its original working state.
Once the process is complete, you should receive a message that reads, "I have just saved your iPhone bro ;)" in the iMessage app.
The flaw affects most iPhones as well as all of the latest versions of iOS.