Bug In iOS 11.3 & Upcoming 11.4 Can Crash iDevices Via Unicode Text… Possibly Other Devices Too

Crashing iDevices via text seems to be a thing as of late. After these examples of this behavior, the word is out of another one. It’s called the “black dot of death” and here’s the video:

If a specially crafted text message with some unicode text that appears as a “black dot” is sent through Messages, it will result in repeated crashes when the recipient tries to read it. This also appears to have a similar effect on macOS from some reports that I have read, and it is likely that other platforms such as watchOS and tvOS would be the same. This exploit works on 11.3 and betas of 11.4 which means that it could be fixed in time for the release of 11.4.

Until Apple releases an OS update to address the root cause, you just need to find a way to get out of the messages detail screen. You could try force-quitting the Messages app and using 3D Touch to open a New Message pane. Assuming your iDevice supports 3D Touch of course. You can then backtrack to the main Messages list and delete the malicious conversation thread. You could also go onto another iCloud synced device and delete the message remotely.

If you’re really interested in a very deep discussion of this issue, this explanation by Tom Scott can help you to get that.


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