‘Text Bomb’ iMessage Links Are Crashing iOS and macOS Devices

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A new “text bomb” discovered this week is reportedly causing some iOS and macOS users to become infected when they click into malicious iMessage links, causing their system to either hang or crash entirely, multiple news outlets confirm.

“The malicious link – which points to a GitHub page – is capable of crashing iOS and macOS if you click on it from the Messages app,” MacWorld reports. The bug’s original founder, Twitter user Abraham Masri, added that “the link could cause devices to freeze, respring, lag, and on occasion, experience battery issues.”

It can also cause similar issues on a Mac when users open the infected iMessage link via Safari or Google Chrome browser.

Presently being referred to as the ChaiOS bug, the issue is apparently similar to other malicious iMessage-based attacks spanning as far back as 2015, MacWorld noted, while pointing out that there’s no imminent reason to be concerned over security risks, since the bug isn’t capable of granting unsolicited access to data on your device.

Still, it would at the least be a major inconvenience if you were to click on the link noting that the result could be as minor as the Messages app crashing, or as severe as the entire system freezing up and requiring a manual reboot.

How to Protect Yourself from ChaiOS

  • Your first (and, ironically enough, only) means of protection from this bug is to simply refrain from clicking suspicious links sent to you via iMessage.
  • If you do receive a questionable link — even if it’s coming from a friend or trusted ally — you’re strongly advised against clicking it.
  • If you’ve already received and clicked into an infected link, then your best course of action would be to delete the iMessage thread in its entirety and block (or at least scold) the person who sent it.
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