Internet trolls on Twitter and Facebook using Telugu Unicode characters

A Telugu symbol is forcing apps to crash repeatedly on iOS, and when a notification is received, a bootloop error may occur. Internet trolls have embedded it in their user handles and are exploiting this vulnerability.

A new bug has recently been discovered that affects iOS, watchOS and macOS devices, causing app crashes and bootloop errors on iPhones. It occurs when a Telugu Unicode character is sent as a message or even pasted on a smartphone label, textfield or textview. Some users on Twitter and Facebook have already started abusing vulnerabilities and adding special characters to their tweets. This is causing a stir on Twitter, Facebook and many other social media platforms from inconvenient users whose smartphones have crashed.

According to TechCrunch, a number of tweets have popped up in the past few days, saying “read this to instantly log off” and “retweet it to crash anyone using an Apple device”. Also, even if the character is present in the handle of someone who replies or likes a user’s tweet, it may cause a crash and, as mentioned earlier, a bootloop error.

Facebook is also preventing users from posting Unicode-based characters. The social media site says, “According to our community guidelines, posts that look like spam have been blocked on Facebook and cannot be edited.” According to reports, an app that crashed due to a bug will not restart because it continues to crash in the loop and to fix it, it will have to be reinstalled without any previous data. One possible way to avoid bootloop issues is to turn off notifications, however, launching the app, which received the symbol, will probably crash it.

The problem is quite serious because when the Unicode character is received as a notification, it can crash and restart the springboard. If an iPhone is restarted during Springboard Recovery, it can be bricked by entering a bootloop and reinstalling the OS in Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode.

The bug also obviously affects WhatsApp, Twitter and other third-party apps, and Apple is aware of the bug and is working to fix it. However, the latest public beta version of iOS 11.3 will not be affected by this issue and the company is also working on a patch for watchOS and macOS. You can read more about Telugu character bugs here.

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