Prank video crashing Apple smartphones

Allan Goodman
November 23, 2016

According to The Verge, Reddit users found a bug that will completely lock up your iPhone by simply clicking on an MP4 file video.

An MP4 video causes this latest bug; all a user needs to do to have their iPhone crash is watch it. It's still unclear if this bug will have any long-lasting effects, so as tempting as it might be, we don't recommend you send the link around.

The jury is still out on the nature of this video and how it's actually causing iPhones to crash. We advise all iPhone users to take the highest caution that this video can be sent via both iMessage and WhatsApp. The problem isn't permanent though - just perform a hard reset (hold down the power button and Home button) and when your phone reboots it will be good as new. The iOS running devices all overload and gradually become unusable after playing the corrupted video.

It may also be something created by hackers to be able to get information from your phone, so try to avoid pressing the link if at all possible.

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Similar to iPhone video prank, a link to a website, "crashsafari.com", can overwhelm the device's memory and caused it to crash when opened in a Safari browser.

The video "prank", first discovered on the video-sharing app Miaopai, apparently plays normally in the iPhone's video player, but then 10 to 60 seconds later, your phone freezes.

Fascinatingly, with the newest firmware iOS 10.2 beta 3, if an affected iPhone is let to run for a long time, it will shut itself down automatically. Once you restart your device everything works as before without any problems.

Apple has yet to comment on the matter or provide a fix, but the company should offer at least a temporary workaround soon enough. However, it will require a soft reset or forced reboot to recover the functionality of the phone. When the corrupted video is played, iOS isn't sure how to properly handle it. Wouldn't it be better to quietly disclose the problem to Apple, wait for the issue to be fixed, and then make it public?

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