Be Careful, Getting a Text With This Link Will Royally Screw Up Your iPhone
These days, it seems something as innocent as an errant sneeze can send your iPhone into a glitchy tizzy. From half-baked iOS updates Apple prematurely rolls out to any number of hardware issues, it can be tough to pin down exactly why your apps are crashing and things are slow.
However, you can rest easy knowing it's all but certain your iPhone will freak out if you receive a text message containing a certain link that's currently making the rounds.
👋 Effective Power is back, baby!— Abraham Masri (@cheesecakeufo) January 16, 2018
Text the link below, it will freeze the recipient's device, and possibly restart it. https://t.co/Ln93XN51Kq
⚠️ Do not use it for bad stuff.
thanks to @aaronp613 @garnerlogan65 @lepidusdev @brensalsa for testing!
Much like a certain three character text message that was crashing phones last year, the link in question (seen in the tweet above) appears innocuous at first glance, since it's a basic GitHub URL. However, simply receiving it can set off a series of problems. According to Twitter user Abraham Masri, who appears to have first pointed it out and has referred to it as the "chaiOS" bug, texting the link will freeze the recipient's device, and possibly restart it.
The folks at 9to5Mac tested it and found it was capable of causing all sorts of problems. They reported that it would sometimes cause both the sender and recipient's Messages apps to crash (on both iOS and macOS) and that it was also causing devices to "respire" (a pseudo restart when the screen displays a spinning circle). They also found that it was causing the so-called "beach ball" to pop up in Safari on macOS, and that there was dramatic lag throughout both iOS and macOS.
The good news is you're not doomed if someone sends you the link, since it's more of a nuisance than anything else. According to 9to5Mac, simply deleting the message thread in which the link exists will restore order to your device and Message apps.
Be safe out there.