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Apple confirmed on Thursday that a fix for the ‘chaiOS’ text bomb will be arriving in a software update next week.
At this point, all signs point toward that software update being iOS 11.2.5. That iOS version is currently in its beta testing period, and the sixth beta does indeed patch the text bomb and prevents it from freezing iOS devices.
The so-called ‘chaiOS’ text bomb, discovered this week, is a malicious link to a GitHub page that can affect iOS and macOS devices. It began spreading on Tuesday after the GitHub link was shared via Twitter.
In some cases, reports suggest that the text bomb doesn’t require the link to be clicked to work — users who simply receive the link in their Messages app can begin to see effects. Namely, the text bomb can cause Macs, iPhones, iPads to freeze up, lag and experience battery issues. In some cases, chaiOS can cause devices to crash.
At this point, there doesn’t seem to be any significant or long-term effects — but the text bomb is obviously inconvenient to receive nonetheless.
The only fix was to quit the Messages app and delete the entire message thread with the sender of the link. On the other hand, GitHub has removed the malicious webpage as of Wednesday, which undoubtedly limited its spread.
Since iOS 11.2.5 beta 6 addresses the issue, it’s likely that a final version of iOS 11.2.5 with the same fix will be released to the public next week alongside macOS High Sierra 10.13.3, watchOS 4.2.2 and tvOS 11.2.5.
Since the issue also affects Mac computers, it’s likely that a fix will be included in macOS 10.13.3.
If you’re an iOS developer or a public beta tester, it’s probably smart to download and install iOS 11.2.5 beta 6 to prevent any issues with chaiOS. If you aren’t, however, just be wary of any suspicious-looking messages until next week.
If you’ve been hit with chaiOS, exiting out of Messages and deleting the sender’s thread appears to be a reliable fix in the interim.