‘Black dot of death’ Unicode bug crashes iOS Messages app

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Black dot of death
This text message will crash your iPhone.
Photo: EverythingApplePro

Another Unicode text bug has been discovered in iOS, which will repeatedly crash Apple’s Messages app by overloading its memory.

The “black dot” message contains an emoji like ⚫, although it’s not actually the emoji which causes the message to crash the app. The bug affects iOS 11.3 and the current iOS 11.4 beta seeds. A similar message recently did the rounds on Android. As of yet, Apple has yet to release a fix.

This isn’t the first time that iOS have suffered the affects of malicious Unicode bugs. Earlier this year, a similar text message did the rounds, containing a single character in the Indian language character set of Telegu. This message crashed iPhones, as well as blocking access to the Messages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Outlook for iOS and Gmail iOS apps.

Back in 2015, Apple also suffered from the so-called “Unicode of Death” security exploit in iMessages. The unicode problem involved a string of Arabic characters, which crashed iPhones by overloading your iPhone’s memory.

While these periodic bugs are annoying for users — and infuriating for those who receive them — Apple is typically good at releasing timely bug fixes. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that Apple doesn’t disappoint on this occasion!