Before I start this tutorial, no, this is not that "Effective. Power." text that is going around. With that being said, let's talk about this attack.
Hello, my hacker friends! Today we are going to look at how hackers can take advantage of the system, and repeatedly crash the iMessage app. At the end of the tutorial we will talk about ways of fixing this, in case you want to do it on your own phone. I am not responsible for any damages.
Many of you are familiar with something called a DDOS attack. This attack is commonly used on websites to shut them down for a short (or long) period of time.
What we are going to do is similar. It may sound dumb, and believe me, it is. We are going to send 60,000 emojis to the victim's phone until the app cannot handle any more. Sound familiar?
Since we cannot type 60,000 emoji hearts onto the phone (because it will crash itself) we will use a computer! I am using my macbook's iMessage app, but you can use any texting app of your preference.
Let's use an emoji heart because I love them (pun intended).
If we copy and paste that heart 10 times, we will be left with 10 hearts. Do the same with the 10 hearts. You will have 100. Do the same, and you will have 1000. Do the same and you will have 10,000. Copy and paste that 6 times, and you have 60,000. Math...it actually has a use.
Your computer may be very very slow now. Hit send, cover your ears, and delete the conversation before the spinny beach ball of death takes over you screen.
Now, this is where things are interesting. Let's observe how the iPhone handles this. Whenever you try to open the iMessage app on the victim phone, it will freeze, crash, and go to the home screen. This means the victim cannot use his or her iMessage app.
Why does this happen?
Like most computer programs, they can only process a certain amount of information. Since we are sending 60,000 emoji hearts, the iPhone cannot load them and the iMessage app crashes.
Is there a patch for this? Sadly not. The only patch would be to block the number that sends repeated spam like this.
Wait...you just crashed your friend's phone and you cannot fix it?
Do not panic. You did not ruin your best friend's phone as a christmas prank. In the next step we are going to talk about fixing this.
Now you might have noticed that even if you reset your phone, the app will always crash because it cannot display the information.
First let's make sure we have fully reset the phone with a hard reset. This does not erase any data, so calm down. Hold the home and power button until you see the apple logo and let go. Let the phone do the rest.
Now that it's turned back on. We need a different contact to send a message so that we can access the menu, to delete the conversation containing 60,000 emoji hearts. Go get another friend to text them.
When the text notification comes up on the screen. Tap on it to open up the conversation. Go to the menu where you can see all of your conversations, click edit, and delete the conversation filled with emojis.
Nobody is safe! Hide everything! Nothing is secure!
Well, not really.
Anything is capable crashing if you load enough onto it. However, you shouldn't worry if you are a victim of this attack. It is easy to fix, if you are educated enough to know what the problem is (and now you are).
If you find certain phone numbers spamming you, block them. It will keep you safe, and your phone is at less of a risk of losing data.