New "Text Bomb" Can Crash Or Hang Messages And Safari In iOS And macOS


May 13, 2013
Apple Insider is reporting that a new malicious link can cause Messages and Safari to crash or hang in iOS and macOS. The website seems to exploit a bug or a non-optimized rendering process for OpenGraph page titles by creating an excessively long tag. When Messages attempts to render a preview of the link, the app then crashes or hangs - and occasionally takes the operating system with it.

This isn't the first time this has happened, in 2015 a link could crash Chrome, and in 2016 a link couldl crash iPhones. With the amount of code flying around the internet it's honesty surprising this doesn't happen more often. Hopefully Apple gets a fix out quickly.

Messages gets top billing, but our testing also found Safari and Chrome on macOS to be somewhat vulnerable. Even Chrome's developer tools were not immune. Since this exploit relies on automatic link previews, typical security advice - don't click on random links - doesn't apply. Until Apple releases a fix, users will simply have to hope their friends are nice people.