Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Huge iOS, OS X vulnerability uncovered that can render apps unusable

iPhone Vulnerability

Android might be targeted by hackers and malware far more often than Apple’s iOS platform, but that doesn’t mean devices like the iPhone and iPad are immune to threats. A post on Russian website Habrahabr.ru draws attention to a fairly serious vulnerability that allows nefarious users to remotely crash apps on iOS 6, or even render them unusable. The vulnerability is seemingly due to a bug in Apple’s CoreText font rendering framework, and OS X Mountain Lion is affected as well.

According to the report, simply exposing various iOS or OS X apps to one of several possible strings of text is enough to trigger a crash. What’s more, sending one such string as an SMS or an iMessage to an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac computer can crash Apple’s Messages app repeatedly, rendering it unusable.

Safari is also impacting by the bug, and naming a Wi-Fi network with one of the strings of text can cause an error while an Apple device is scanning for networks.

The report claims that Apple has been aware of this vulnerability for six months and has yet to patch the exploit in any currently available operating system build. The author does note, however, that beta versions of iOS 7 and of OS X Mavericks are seemingly not affected by the bug.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.