Apple has started rolling out the 11.2.6 update for iOS fixing the critical Telugu character bug issue which caused crashes on iPhones and iPads. The company is also seeding updates to watchOS, tvOS and macOS as devices running on them were also affected by the bug. The vulnerability was plaguing users since it was discovered and once the news spread, some people started exploiting it and crashing other people’s iPhones by tagging the character in their tweets, posts and other social media platforms.
The Telugu character affected devices running on iOS 11.2.5 and the new update mitigates the problem. It also brings minor improvements along with a fix for the issue where some third-party apps failed connecting to external accessories. It was speculated that the patch for the vulnerability would be released by Apple in the upcoming iOS 11.3, which is expected to address the battery and performance issue for iPhones and is currently under beta testing. But an earlier report suggested that the company was already aware of the issue and was working on a fix, which would be released earlier.
To recall, it was recently discovered that a Telugu Unicode character can cause apps on iPhones to force crash and in worst cases, cause a bootloop error. This happens even when it is sent as a message or even pasted in the smartphone’s TextField or Labels. Also, apps crashing due to the character need to be reinstalled completely from scratch.
If the Unicode symbol is received as a notification, it can also cause Springboard to restart. And in case an iPhone restarts while it’s recovering, the device can enter into a bootloop and can be bricked. The firmware on the smartphone then needs to be flashed by reinstalling the OS in Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode. The bug affected Twitter, WhatsApp, and other third-party apps as well. You can read more about the issue here.