A new hack, discovered by hacker Vincedes3, can crash and disable the Messages app on any device running iOS 8 through to iOS 10. The revelation was made popular by YouTuber EverythingApplePro, who uploaded a video presenting the exploit's destructive impacts. Additionally, Vincedes3 has documented the exploit on his own channel.
The exploit works by overloading a vCard - typically used to exchange contact information between devices - with thousands of lines of code to such an extent that the Messages app freezes and cannot process any further information. Messages subsequently crashes. Vincedes3 has reportedly included 14,281 lines of code in the vCard file, working out at roughly 70 times the amount of code found in the average vCard.
Along with access to a copy of the vCard, Vincedes3 has thankfully detailed multiple ways of restoring the iOS device to normal. The exploit works on the premise that Apple's iOS will always try to open the most recently opened text. By sending yourself a message and then opening it via Siri, the exploit will move down the list of messages and become ineffective. Alternatively, the hacker has supplied a link which can be opened in Safari to restore the iOS device to normal.
This exploit is not the first vulnerability iOS has seen this year, with the severe bug-chain hack attracting attention back in March.