If your iOS 10 powered iDevice is frozen, it probably is from this malicious text

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There is a text message that can freeze an Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod running iOS 10 through iOS 10.2.1. Unlike the last malicious iOS text message we told you about, this one has an easy fix that will unfreeze your iPhone as though nothing ever happened to it. The text is made up of four characters. They are a white flag emoji, a character known as VS16 (which is not visible), a zero and a rainbow emoji. This text will freeze any iOS 10 powered device for two to three minutes before the phone crashes and comes back to life.

The reason that this works is believed to be due to the fact that the text is trying to combine two characters that cannot be combined. The VS16 character tells the phone to combine two characters that are next to each other; in this case the white flag and the zero are supposed to equal the rainbow flag which is actually made up of the white flag emoji and the rainbow emoji.

Sending the text is a little more difficult than just typing on your phone. One way to do it is to enlist your computer. There is also a more complex method that does not require you to employ a computer. The video at the top of this story will show you how to send this. However, with great knowledge comes great responsibility. You might know some people who you'd really love to play this prank on. Resist that urge. We are showing you the video just in case one of your buddies (or mortal enemies) has frozen your phone and you are panicking. As you can see from the video, time is your friend. After no more than three minutes, the device will start working again.

As benign as this should be to the workings of your device in the long run, it is downright annoying. In addition, if for some reason you have rebooted the phone and you can't load the Messages app, do the following:

  • Launch Safari and head on over to vincedes3.com/save.html.
  • Select Open from the dialogue box that appears to jump into the Messages app.
  • Exit out of the new thread it creates within the app and delete any threads with the malicious text

That's all there is to it. The problem is that there is no way to block this message outside of blocking texts from all of your friends who are immature pranksters. If you are in the middle of doing something with your iDevice and it just freezes, dollars to doughnuts that this text is the reason why. Hopefully, Apple comes up with a software update that will fix this problem soon.

source: EverythingApplePro via RedmondPie

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