REBOOT. When one is sent the text message containing  Arabic characters, their phone restarts.
REBOOT. When one is sent the text message containing Arabic characters, the phone restarts.

All over campus, students and teachers with iPhones are receiving a specific text message with a strange set of Arabic characters and poor intentions.

This text message, or virus, can be sent through iMessage or SMS and can, at the least, cause one’s iPhone to restart and one’s iMessage app to crash. Some students have had more severe, long-lasting effects, though, such as crashing apps, blinking screens and failing home buttons.

One would assume hackers are spreading this virus; however, hackers started it then friends shared it, spreading it as a prank. Although receiving this message may be a nuisance, there are usually no permanent effects.

“I think it’s really irresponsible to pass it on. Kids think it’s funny but would you want your $650 phone to get messed up?” AP Computer Science teacher Jim Mitchell said.

Sophomore Diego Salisbury‘s friends bombarded his phone with so many of the Arabic text messages that it overwhelmed his phone and caused it to blink for about four hours.

“It was interesting the first time just to see what it does, but after that it just got so annoying because I really couldn’t do anything,” Salisbury said. “Overall, it was just really childish and annoying after it was being overused.”

If a person has already received and opened the message containing the virus, he can call or contact the person who sent it and ask him to text him again. This action cancels out the initial strand. One can also kill the virus themselves by texting themself through Siri or a Mac, or sending the person who sent the virus a picture through the Photos app.

To prevent this virus from occurring, one can go to Settings, Notifications, Message, and then turn off “Allow Notifications.”

This virus or glitch first spread through Reddit and then through social media such as Twitter. People then copied and pasted the Arabic characters into a message to send to their friends. These characters are not in Apple’s system so they confuse the iPhone, causing it to reboot.

Apple released a statement saying:

“We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update.”

By Natalie Disla

I am the Editor-In-Chief of Hilights. I love traveling to different countries and states, but my favorite place to visit is New York. Beyoncé is my inner diva.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *