Users recently discovered a new iMessage bug called 'chaiOS' on iOS and macOS that was found to crash or freeze the Messages app when a specific link was received. Apple has confirmed the bug and said it is working on a fix that will be available next week.
Discovered by software developer Abraham Masri , the chaiOS bug reportedly has the potential to freeze, crash, or re-spring your iPhone or Mac when the link is received. It can render the Messages app useless by crashing the app repeatedly. A notable aspect of the bug is that it can freeze your device even if you do not click on the link sent to you.
Gadgets 360 couldn't replicate the bug but 9to5Mac, which claims to have performed some testing with the chaiOS iMessage bug, says, "We tested the bug and experienced pervasive issues that required removing the message thread and in some cases digging in to macOS and removing the whole Messages database and starting over. Bottom line is it was a pain to resolve after receiving the test message."
The basis that the chaiOS bug is thought to work on is the Preview feature available in the Messages app. Links have a small preview alongside the URL, which can be fine tuned by developers from the backend. While this preview is limited to only a few characters, Masri apparently went ahead and entered hundreds of thousands of characters, messing up with Apple's system.
The chaiOS bug link, which is sourced from GitHub, has since been removed. Masri's account has apparently also suspended for a while before being restored. Additionally, Apple has confirmed to BuzzFeed that the company is indeed working on a fix that will be available through a software update by next week. It will presumably be available for both iOS and macOS.
Masri claims that he uploaded the bug on GitHub in order to "reach out to Apple." While the link has been taken down, it has supposedly been uploaded by other users.
This is not the first instance of such a bug on iOS. Back in January 2017, YouTuber EverythingApplePro brought a bug to light wherein sending a white flag emoji, a zero, and a rainbow emoji in one message crashed any iPhone variant running iOS 8 and above.