Skip to main content

Apps crash as text-based exploit takes hold of Apple iPhones and Macs

Jailbreakers are furiously working on a clean patch for an exploitable, text-based bug in Apple's OS X 10.8 and iOS 6 operating systems, which cause application crashes, according to 9to5Mac.

The exploit uses "a string of Arabic characters" to crash applications in the most current versions of Apple's software platforms for Macs and iOS-based devices like iPhones and iPads, 9to5Mac reported.

The site also published an image of a source page on describing a "DoS Exploit for WebKit engine." Clicking and viewing that 9to5Mac-hosted shot of the core text exploit's publication will not affect computers and devices running OS X 10.8 or iOS 6, the site noted.

Amongst the affected apps was Twitter, according to one iPhone 5 owner who indicated that the app was crashing on his phone due to the exploit.

Apple was reportedly notified about this exploit "six months ago," the site reported. The company has actually fixed the bug in upcoming versions of its two major OSes, Mac OS X 10.9 and iOS 7, according to 9to5Mac, but "still has not issued a fix for the current public operating systems."

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Until a fix is issued by Apple, 9to5Mac was pointing affected users to jailbreakers like Filippo Bigarella who are cobbling together patches, with a caveat emptor warning.

Bigarella soon tweeted that he had built "a fully working patch that unfortunately applies only in MobileSafari. The more general fix I came up with is not a clean solution."

Later in the day, Bigarella said he had put together a "WebCore 'dumb' patch to avoid crashes with today's malicious character sequence," with a link for downloading the patch.

Apple is reportedly gearing up for the launch of its new iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone 5C at an event believed to be held on 10 September.