iPhone users: Beware of new text message exploit

Late last night I was browsing Reddit on my iPhone, and I clicked a link to view a photo. An advert on the hosting site immediately exploited a well-known iPhone bug to redirect me to the William Hill betting app in the App Store, a bug that has been annoying iPhone users for years and remains unfixed. I switched back to the browser and closed the page.

Instead of quietly going away, though, either the page or another advert on it had another trick up its sleeve, one that I hadn’t encountered before. This time it opened my messages app, with the recipient and this message already filled in…


Now fortunately you still have to click “send”, so I was able to just hit cancel and no harm done. Annoying, but harmless. Or so I thought. This morning I received a text message from my mum, so I swiped it to reply, and this happened…


Somehow my phone had ended up with this message set as a kind of default reply. Obviously I could just delete that message, but how annoying!

What’s worse is that we can’t really expect this to be fixed any time soon, because Apple simply doesn’t do that. The annoying App Store redirects have been going on for years. And then there’s stuff like this…

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 11.44.01

Twice a day. Every day. Neither my Mac nor my iPhone can successfully complete the iCloud Keychain “approval” process, so both devices keep nagging me to do it twice every day. Apple tech support say they “understand” why it’s annoying but that’s about all the help they can give.

Let’s just hope the scammers / spammers don’t figure out how to send those text messages without us knowing or being able to stop them. You can bet they’re trying to figure that out right now.

4 thoughts on “iPhone users: Beware of new text message exploit

  1. Easy answer: If you willfuly chose a phone from a supplier, who a) is unwilling to fix this and b) doesn’t allow you or the community to fix it, then this is what you deserve!

    • Easy answer, sure, but not a fair one. Millions of people buy iPhones (or get them on contract) without knowing how lax Apple are in fixing bugs. Those people don’t “deserve” to pay the price for Apple’s poor support of their products.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s