If your phone crashed after receiving a mysterious notification, you are not alone. Reports on Reddit and elsewhere claim that a text string with Sindhi characters may cause your iPhone to crash.
This bug is similar to an earlier glitch where a string of text in the Telugu language would cause the Messages app to lock up.
Capture the Flag
The string of text, dubbed “Capture the Flag,” includes select characters from the Sindhi language.
The first reports of the error also included an Italian flag emoji, but later testing from EverythingApplePro confirms you don’t need the Italian flag to cause the crash.
Since it was first reported, the text string has spread across Twitter, Reddit, and other social media platforms. The issue arises when a user receives a notification with this text string.
CaptureTheFlag is similar in that it hooks CoreText to replace any occurrences of it with “Unsupported characters.” It only seems to be triggered by notification as of right now.Reddit User MTAC
Sometimes the device will crash, sometimes it will stop responding to touch inputs. It can be triggered by any app that pops up a notification. Not just an iOS bug, it reportedly also affects Mac computers and Apple Watches.
How to Prevent the Glitch
This issue is present in iOS 13.4, but it appears to be fixed in iOS 13.4.5 beta. Apple hasn’t rolled that update out publicly yet, but it likely will release it soon.
Until Apple resolves this issue, the only fix is to disable notifications on all affected devices. If you receive a message with the text string, you can reboot your device, and it will return to normal.
Those with a jailbroken device may be able to fix the glitch right now with a patch provided by Reddit user MTAC.