A malicious link is being sent around that freezes your iPhone even if you don't click on it — but Apple says a fix is coming next week

Avery Hartmans
Women with iPhone
Women with iPhone

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

  • A software developer discovered a bug that lets anyone send you a malicious link on iMessage that can crash your phone. 

  • Because the bug lies in the link preview, it can freeze the iMessage app without you even clicking on it.

  • Called "chaiOS," the bug affects phones running iOS 10 or later. 

  • Apple confirmed on Thursday that a software fix was planned for next week.

A bug called "chaiOS" is wreaking havoc on iPhones. 

According to a report out Wednesday from BuzzFeed's Nicole Nguyen, the security vulnerability is capable of freezing or crashing your phone if you're sent a specific link through iMessage. 

Apple confirmed to MacRumors on Thursday that it plans to release an update next week to fix the bug. 

According to BuzzFeed, chaiOS was originally discovered by software developer Abraham Masri, who posted his findings to Github. Masri said his intentions were good — he had alerted Apple to the bug ahead of time and said he only posted it publicly to get Apple's attention.

Masri's original post has since been taken down, but the link may still be floating around, according to BuzzFeed.

Because of the way links work in iMessage — the app generates previews of links before you click on them — you can be affected by chaiOS without even clicking on the link itself. The link preview contains the bug, and it can freeze iMessage all on its own. The bug is capable of crashing iMessage altogether, and in some cases, forcing you to restore your phone to factory settings. 

The bug affects phones running iOS 10 up to at least iOS 11.2.5 beta 5, according to BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed's report has a few helpful tips for how to protect yourself from the bug, so head over there for more. 

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