Beware: This Link Will Crash, Freeze Messages App On iOS & macOS, Cause Respring, Boot Loop, More

“Effective power” bug is back on iPhones and Macs! As has been discovered and posted about by Abraham Masri – the guy behind to.panga jailbreak, Houdini semi-jailbreak and some other project – it affects both iOS and macOS devices.

While it’s generally harmless, the developer warns that it shouldn’t be used for “bad stuff” and is likely made public mainly for educational purposes.

It’s pretty much given that most will still use it to prank friends and family with iPhones and Macs, just so that they can annoy the hell out of them. It’s not the first time that this kind of bug has been discovered in iOS either, with previous similar bugs in text and links form have not only affected Messages app, but also the Safari mobile browser.

While Apple has patched the bugs in previous instances fairly quickly, the company usually doesn’t issue emergency updates for these bugs as these are generally harmless and don’t really cause security or privacy issues for iOS device owners.

So what does this bug do? Well, if you send the link hosted on GitHub given in the embedded tweet below, it will immediately crash the receipent’s Messages app. This is due to Messages app preloading the preview of the page with code that causes the issue in the first place. In some instances, it can even cause resprings or boot loops, or can even freeze the device and might require full power on/off of the device. It has also been found to cause lag in Messages app and iOS in general, and in some rare instances, can make Messages app useless.

It appears to affect the latest public and beta versions of both iOS and macOS. While Apple will definitely patch this in an upcoming update, we will have to wait and see how long the company takes to issue an update for this one – It will probably depend on how widespread the issue becomes!

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