IOS bug crashes messaging apps on iPhones after typing ‘Taiwan’

IOS bug crashes messaging apps on iPhones after typing ‘Taiwan’

And given the relationship China has with Taiwan, the company might be appeasing the Chinese government with its flag blockade. According to security researcher Patrick Wardle, Apple's efforts to appease the Chinese government led to an annoying iPhone bug that it only just fixed in the most recent software update, after the bug plagued users for two years.

Meanwhile, China is one of the most important markets to Apple. The offending code was supposed to replace Taiwanese flag emoji with a crossed box but, due to an oversight, a null pointer error was created resulting in the crash scenario.

ElcomSoft has ordered other non-original USB accessories for the iPhone to see if they can also be used to reset the USB Restricted Mode timer. The bug traced back to a feature devised by Apple to classify messages based on the emoji they contain.

The intended behavior of this code is not to crash your phone, obviously.


What we discovered is that iOS will reset the USB Restrictive Mode countdown timer even if one connects the iPhone to an untrusted USB accessory, one that has never been paired to the iPhone before (well, in fact the accessories do not require pairing at all). He discovered, after digging into Apple's code, that iOS 11 blocked the emoji in Apple's own iMessage, as well as messaging apps WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Wardle noted that the bug only affected devices in certain "region-less" configurations.

China considers Taiwan as a renegade provice, and does not recognise the sovereignty of the island nation.

When triggered, the bug would crash any app where the Taiwanese flag emoji or the word "Taiwan" had been typed in for iPhones where the region had not been properly set. China claims the country as its territory, but Taiwan claims it has the right to self-govern. These restrictions drove Google to end its Chinese business operations a decade ago. "Theoretically, iOS could remember which devices were connected to the iPhone, and only allow those accessories to establish connectivity without requiring an unlock", he wrote in his blog post. First, the latest iOS 11.4.1 update will fix an issue which prevented some users from viewing the last known location of their AirPods in the Find Phone app.

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