iOS update brings fix for Unicode symbols bug

Apple has released an update to iOS which fixes a major bug in Apple operating systems that would cause them to crash from mere exposure to either of two specific Unicode symbols. iOS version 11.2.6 and macOS version 10.13.3 are both now available for download.

During their development work on an international news feed, software engineers at Aloha Browser discovered two Unicode symbols in a non-English language that can crash any Apple device that uses Apple’s default San Francisco font.

The bug instigates crashes on iPhones, iPads, Macs and even Watch OS devices that display text containing the symbol on their screens.

When one of the two symbols is displayed in an app, the software crashes immediately. In many cases, the app cannot be reopened and must be reinstalled.

Apple addressed the issue last week, saying that while beta versions of iOS 11.3 and macOS 13.13.4 resolve the problem, the company intended on issuing patches as soon as possible.

Apple calls the magical characters a “maliciously crafted string” that led to “heap corruption.” It seems that macOS versions before 10.13.3 aren’t affected.

The iOS patch also fixes “an issue where some third-party apps could fail to connect to external accessories,” which is welcome but unrelated to the text bomb.

 

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