Why some iMessage are in chiness language
A STRING of Arabic and Chinese text is shutting down iPhones around the world as Apple has announced it’s working hard to fix the bug. Iphone text messages turning Chinese!!
The bug was revealed today when several Reddit users complained that Arabic and Chinese letters can cause an iPhone to reboot if they are sent as a message.
The text causing the problem is very specific. Some users, trying to replicate the problem, report that it took 50 attempts to activate the problem.
An iPhone user who receives a text message with the problem letters will find their phone crashes and then, when the phone reboots, the Message app will not open.
A bug in Apple’s iOS enables anyone to crash an iPhone by sending a string of characters via iMessage or SMS. The bug — discovered by several users on Reddit — requires a specific string of Chinese, Marathi and Arabic characters to be sent.
The iPhone receiving the message will crash and immediately reboot. Following the reboot, attempting to reopen the Messages app will result in the app crashing if it was opened in list view. It can be launched if it was last opened to a conversation with the user that sent the string of text. But attempting to go to another conversation will cause the app to crash,
Security analyst Cary Anderson said that the vast majority of these spam messages have been sent using various models of iPhone, and in particular, by hackers using stolen iCloud account credentials to exploit the ability to send iMessages and SMS between different countries.
“This spam campaign has been ongoing for several months, but in many cases does not match the standard method of sending SMS abuse in that it is persistent, widely distributed, and the senders are, as far as we could determine, predominately iPhone users that did not exhibit prior spamming behaviour,” Adaptive Mobile said in a blog post.
Hackers carry out the attack by obtaining compromised iCloud account credentials from various sources, the firm said. The hackers then use the stolen credentials to sign onto an Apple device of their own.
The person whose iCloud account it is will receive a notification on their iPhone that a new device has been paired, but the notification itself does not have an option to stop access. The hacker then sends spam messages to recipients in China using iMessage.
iMessages that don’t reach their destination are downgraded to SMS and sent again to the target in China.
Anderson said the sender is likely to be hit with sizable bills for any large scale number of SMS messages that are being sent to China.
Anderson said the solution to this problem is via customer education and improvement on iCloud security.
“In the end, defeating these scammers will take a community effort – not just from Apple, but also from telecom operators and consumers,” said Anderson.
“Operators can protect their customers from unusual spikes in international traffic, Apple can and do[es] recommend using strong passwords and Two-Factor-Authentication on [its] accounts, and consumers should learn about and own their own personal security, paying particular attention to login alerts from new devices.”
The firm recommended that Apple should look at ways to further secure iCloud accounts, saying that one potential way would be to ensure that new paired devices are vetted.
iMessage texts are blue and some are green
If you own an iPhone, you may have noticed something odd in the Messages app: some messages are blue and some are green. What’s the deal with that?
Short answer: blue ones have been sent or received using Apple’s iMessage technology, while green ones are “traditional” text messages exchanged via Short Messaging Service, or SMS.
Does this matter? In the grand texting scheme of things, should you care whether your messages are blue or green?
Maybe yes, maybe no. Let’s start by making sure you have all the necessary information. A standard SMS text message is delivered over the same voice networks used for phone calls. Back in the bad old days, carriers charged by the message (often 10-25 cents per!). Then they bundled a fixed number of messages into your calling plan, and now most of them offer unlimited messaging.
In the interim, Apple unveiled iMessage, which looks and acts like standard SMS but actually relies on data networks (cellular or Wi-Fi, whatever you’re connected to). That affords two benefits: freedom from carrier rates for SMS (assuming you’re paying extra for it or have a capped plan) and a wider set of messaging features.
Indeed, iMessage allows you to do things standard SMS can’t, like share your location, send walkie-talkie-style voice messages, check message delivery, and even see if someone’s in the process of writing you back (indicated by three dots that appear below your last message).
Ah, but here’s the rub: iMessage works only with other iDevice owners. If you have an iPhone and you use the Messages app to contact an Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone user, iOS recognizes there’s no iMessage at the other end and switches (downshifts?) into SMS mode. Your indication that has happened? Green word bubbles instead of blue.
However, you may end up seeing green even if you’re corresponding with another iPhone. There are three possible causes:
- iMessage isn’t activated on your device. (TapSettings, Messages, then check to see if the feature is switched on. If it is, you should also activate “Send as SMS.” Note that you may need to perform a one-time sign-in using your Apple ID.)
- iMessage isn’t activated on the recipient’s device.
- There’s no data network available. But if your phone can still connect to a voice tower, it will default back to SMS.
So, are there times when you should opt for one messaging method over the other? Although text messages are very small, picture messages can consume a fair bit of data — and if your service plan offers unlimited texting but limited data, you may prefer to switch off iMessage in favor of SMS.
On the flip side, if you’re corresponding with fellow iPhone users but still seeing only green messages, ask them to enable iMessage at their end so you can enjoy the various benefits of the service. Many users have no idea iMessage is even a thing, and don’t realize it’s not enabled.
If you have any questions please feel free to comment below.