Skype bug breaks app with simple eight-character text string

3 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Simple Message Can Crash Skype So Badly You Need to Reinstall It.

Microsoft’s Skype chat service is vulnerable to a simple booby-trapped text message that causes the app to enter a crash loop that permanently breaks the app on iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows. A new bug appears to crash Skype when a short string of text is sent as a message across the service — and the effects are so bad that it requires a reinstall to get things working hitch-free again.Skype users, beware: there’s an eight-character phrase that will lock people out of the popular video chat and messaging service’s apps on most devices where it’s available.

Skype forums first noticed that the characters “http://:” were causing a problem and Skype has now confirmed the issue saying :“We aware of the problem and… working to provide an resolution.” Reminiscent of Apple’s iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac crash bug, the Skype vulnerability is caused by a much simpler and more common text string “http://:”. Reports on Skype forums and VentureBeat reveal that a message containing the simple string of characters “http://:” will crash Skype whether it’s running on Windows, Android or iOS. If there’s a silver lining, Skype’s Mac app and Modern Windows app, which is available for download through the Windows Store, seem unaffected by the bug.

Sending the characters “http://:” (without the quotes) crashes Skype, and receiving a message with those characters makes it crash any time you try to sign in again. Instead, Verge reports, the current best suggestion aired in forums to overcome the issue is to have the person who sent you the message delete it and to install an older, bug-free version of Skype. According to a report by VentureBeat, a user who goes by the handle “Giperion” posted about the issue first, noting that deleting the chat history on a device didn’t help, because Skype would automatically download it again from the cloud after starting back up, and then promptly crash again. Apple’s iPhones, iPads and the Apple Watch have been plagued by a “text message of death” that crashes Apple’s devices when sent via Messages and a variety of other apps including Snapchat and Twitter.

He noted that “clearing chat history not helps, because when skype download chat history from server, it will crash again.” Next, we sent the characters from Skype for Mac to Skype for Windows. When presented with non-Latin characters in a specific sequence – including those from Arabic, Chinese and Marathi – the CoreText system chokes, causing it to fail and bring the entire operating system to a halt. Unfortunately, that problem is more easily solved—users just need to reply to the message using Siri, and people who don’t write in Arabic likely won’t be affected, unless one of their friends decides to be mean.

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