iPhone crashing bug likely caused by code added to appease Chinese gov’t

Enlarge / A purchaser inspects the 2013 Apple iphone at the Wangfujing flagship retailer in Beijing. (credit score: Lintao Zhang/Getty Pictures)

The iOS 11.4.1 update Apple released Monday was most notable for producing it more challenging for legislation enforcement to access locked iPhones. On Tuesday, protection researcher Patrick Wardle illuminated a different repair. He explained his fix dealt with code Apple extra very likely to appease the Chinese federal government this is the code that brought about crashes on sure iDevices when buyers typed the phrase Taiwan or been given messages made up of a Taiwanese flag emoji.

“Though its influence was constrained to a denial of provider (NULL-pointer dereference), it built for an attention-grabbing situation examine of analyzing iOS code,” Wardle, a previous hacker for the Countrywide Safety Agency, wrote in a blog post. “And if Apple hadn’t experimented with to appease the Chinese government in the initially location, there would be no bug!”

Wardle, who is now a macOS and iOS safety professional at Digital Safety, said he was perplexed when a close friend to start with described her absolutely patched, non-jailbroken product crashed each time she typed Taiwan or gained a concept with a Taiwanese flag. He experienced no difficulty reproducing the remotely triggerable bug, which crashed any iOS application that processed distant messages, including iMessage, Fb Messenger, and WhatsApp. Wardle did, however, locate that only units with sure location-precise configurations were being afflicted.

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