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iPhone ‘chaiOS’ Bug Can Freeze Your Phone with a Single Link

19 Jan, 2018
iPhone chaiOS bug can freeze your phone with a single link

“Effective power” bug is back on iPhones and Macs! Apple is moving sluggishly towards bug-free devices, struggling since 2015 to fix some otherwise harmless bugs like and the macOS High Sierra critical flaw. Security and user privacy have been a top priority in every Apple product but regrettably, it has stumbled upon it endeavor sometimes. Recently, a bug has been discovered in iOS that crashes the Messages app and can freeze or restart your phone. A flaw in iMessage has been targeted allowing a single message to lock up and potentially crash your device, without you even opening the message to read it. This bug was given a catchy, slightly alarmist name “chaiOS”.

This newly discovered security vulnerability can be used to prank friends and family with iPhones and Macs. A simple text message embedded with a malicious code can crash the recipient’s Message app and freeze the device requiring a full power reboot. When iMessage receives a message with a URL, it will go online and generate a small thumbnail preview of the link. When the metadata is much larger than normally accepted, the iMessage app will lock up the device. iPhone’s Message App pre-loads links to webpages so it can show users a preview of the webpage and trying to retrieve such links or just receiving them on your phone is found to cause lag in Messages app and iOS in general. Your device could endup in “Respring” or “boot loop” at times. “Respring” refers to re-starting the device’s Spring Board, which takes nearly 10 seconds and, by default, returns you to the Lock Screen. While during the “Boot Loop”, the Apple logo flashes on the screen and instead of booting it, the device restarts again. This keeps on repeating time after time to form the iPhone boot loop.

One can simply input random characters into a webpage’s metadata and use it to troll you, as all that is required, is your phone number and this bug requires absolutely no action from the recipient to do the damage. iMessage app crashes when trying to load all this unexpected information, sometimes taking the entire operating system down with it. ChaiOS affects iOS versions 10.0 through 11.2.5 beta 5.

Scary? No Worries, you’ve got our aid. Well, if you do receive a bad link running the chaiOS bug, you can try a handful of fixes to continue using iMessage on your Phone.

First, block the domain in safari restrictions, iPhone wont overload even if you get the link. This can be done by following the given steps. Go to Safari settings, then General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions > Websites > Limit Adult Content > Never Allow > webpage URL.

Second, delete the message thread received. Sometimes, if you try to open the Messages app, it will continue to crash before you’re able to delete the thread. If Messages is in a recurring loop, you can reset your iPhone to factory settings.This is an extreme measure as it’ll delete all your files, photos and other saved data and settings on your device. Just ensure you’ve backed up all your data proactively.

ChaiOS isn’t a new breed of bug for the iPhone. Such dodgy web links have caused shut downs in iOS before and Apple has been alert and responsive towards similar software mites. Although, it has been a little indifferent to the “chaiOS” till date but users are looking forward towards some fixes in the short run. Taking off, Chip-monks advises you to always keep your iPhone and iPad updated to the latest version of iOS, which includes security patches for bugs like this.