According to a report on 9to5Mac, when iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and iPod owners receive a string of characters from the Sindhi language, the operating system freezes and eventually crashes. Until it crashes the device, the bug causes it to freeze in the app you're in at the time of the notification.
In a video published to Twitter by EverythingApplePro, a user receives the text message with the string of characters and the iPhone is rendered completely useless. When he tries to tap on menu options or even turn off the iPhone, nothing happens. Eventually, after an extended period of time, the iPhone finally crashes, allowing users to reboot the device and regain access.
Needless to say, it's impossible to say how someone came across the string of characters to find the bug. 9to5Mac, however, says it may have first surfaced in a conversation on the private messaging service Telegram. It has since gone viral.
This widespread awareness may prove to be a problem for consumers and companies alike. Pranksters have shared the string of characters on social media, and it's possible to send this message to hundreds of iPhones at once. Indeed, security experts are calling on Apple to patch the bug now before it becomes a bigger problem.
For its part, Apple appears to be taking action. While the bug isn't fixed in the latest version of iOS 13, an upcoming beta version has a fix, according to 9to5Mac. When users upgrade to that new version, it would seem, they won't fall victim to the flaw.
That said, approximately 30 percent of people still aren't using the latest version of iOS. If that remains the case with the new iOS 13 version, it would suggest that millions of iPhone users would still be susceptible to the bug. Worst of all, there's little anyone can do but turn off notifications.
Here's hoping Apple gets that update to users sooner rather than later.