There’s a new iOS bug going around which is capable of instantly force restarting your iPhone or iPad. These types of bugs usually get spread in the form of links sent in a message, but this one is a bit different.
A security researcher named Sabri shared the trick on Twitter and GitHub. Clicking on the link will trigger a few lines of HTML and CSS to activate, relying on a background-filter effect which first hit iPhones with iOS 7. As explained by 9to5Mac, the CSS lines apply a blur effect to every single div element on the page.
How the iPhone Bug Works
This simple maneuver is enough to overload the iPhone’s WebKit renderer and cause a full device kernel panic. The handset then crashes to the Apple logo and reboots within a few seconds. You can try your hand at all this by clicking on the ‘safari-ripper.html’ link in the GitHub source code page linked above, but it goes without saying that your iOS device could freeze up.
The bug apparently works on both iOS 11 and the beta version of iOS 12. Apple hasn’t said anything about it yet, so it may or may not be aware of the issue. iOS 12 is due to emerge in a couple of hours, so the brand probably didn’t have enough time to fix the problem. The company will probably address it in a later release.
Till then, the chances of the code spreading is fairly low. You’d have to visit a page to get the full effects of it, so just opening a message with the link won’t crash your iPhone. Plenty of people might get fooled into clicking on the URL though, so it would be a good idea to practice caution when opening unknown links.