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  • How to Protect Yourself From the Unicode iMessage Bug If You're Jailbroken [Updated]


    There is a pretty nasty bug having to do with iOS' Messages application that has been discovered recently and is being exploited by prankers and people with malicious intent. It involves sending a very specific string of characters via iMessage to someone with an iPhone that will cause the Messages application to crash immediately upon trying to open it.

    Apple says that there is a fix coming soon in a future software update, but for people who are jailbroken, updating really isn't an option. That only leaves jailbreakers with a "temporary fix" that Apple announced tonight in a support document.

    If you're jailbroken and want a more permanent solution to the problem without having to update your iOS firmware and lose your jailbreak when the time comes, then you can simply install a Cydia package that can fix the problem for you.

    Sounds good so far, right?

    Karen Tsai (@angelXwind) has uploaded a new package to her personal Cydia repository dubbed IneffectivePower, which will patch the problem on your device without the need to update your firmware. As Tsai notes on Reddit, the patch is applied to CoreText, the source of the problem, and will work as a system-wide patch for the entire operating system in all messaging applications.

    So how do you add it?

    Just open Cydia and refresh your sources. You'll find it under the Changes tab or in Cydia's BigBoss repository.

    Once installed, you should be fairly well protected from the bug. From the looks of things on Karen's Twitter account, she appears to be updating the package fairly regularly with improvements to make it more and more effective in many other applications.

    You can install this on any of your iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches running iOS 8.

    UPDATE: IneffectivePower is now available on Cydia's BigBoss repository. You can download it free of cost there.

    Has installing this package fixed the problem for you? Share in the comments!

    Sources: Karen Tsai
    This article was originally published in forum thread: How to Protect Yourself From the Unicode iMessage Bug If You're Jailbroken started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. rolandgabor's Avatar
      rolandgabor -
      Has installing this package fixed the problem for you? I don't know if it did. Should I send myself the Unicode message after I installed this tweak? I don't even know if I had a problem. It's only a problem when you receive it from someone right? I'm just saying...
    1. jackbauerctu's Avatar
      jackbauerctu -
      I'm assuming we should all install the patch as a precaution just in case we get the Unicode message if we haven't already...
    1. zeroskater61's Avatar
      zeroskater61 -
      I just found out about this earlier today and it works regardless if you have iMessage on or off. My setting are off and my girlfriend has her setting off as well so I tried it and both our phones restart/reboot upon receiving the message. So I would install regardless which am getting ready to do.
    1. MoonFighter's Avatar
      MoonFighter -
      Once again, the JB community patches it before Apple [emoji111]
    1. ArChAiC69's Avatar
      ArChAiC69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by MoonFighter View Post
      Once again, the JB community patches it before Apple [emoji111]
      Which just proves once again that the jailbreak community is much more efficient at getting things done and taken care of faster and better than Apple.
    1. alfred131's Avatar
      alfred131 -
      I didn't hear of any reports of this happening in canada yet.
      So I'm undecided to install this patch.
    1. alfred131's Avatar
      alfred131 -
      What if I didn't pay my monthly bill yet? You guys think? I'm still vulnerable to this Unicode message
    1. miketurbo123's Avatar
      miketurbo123 -
      Quote Originally Posted by alfred131 View Post
      What if I didn't pay my monthly bill yet? You guys think? I'm still vulnerable to this Unicode message

      Quote Originally Posted by alfred131 View Post
      I didn't hear of any reports of this happening in canada yet.
      So I'm undecided to install this patch.
      Every iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch user is affected regardless of which country you purchased the iDevice from. Your monthly billing with your carrier has nothing to do with this bug. It would still work with an iMessage email (you just need to be connected to wifi).
    1. miketurbo123's Avatar
      miketurbo123 -
      The fix works!
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      So there's a bug that causes the messages app to crash. So you just relaunch the app and you're back in business right?
    1. DQEight's Avatar
      DQEight -
      Quote Originally Posted by exNavy View Post
      So there's a bug that causes the messages app to crash. So you just relaunch the app and you're back in business right?
      Nope, causes phone to either reboot (stock ios) or safe mode (jailbroken). In some cases it will corrupt the messages app so it won't open.

      Any app that uses banner notifications can trigger it with the message
    1. ArChAiC69's Avatar
      ArChAiC69 -
      Sounds like it's better to go ahead and install the patch and never receive the message, than it would be to not install and receive the message
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Does having lock screen notifications for Messages really cause a boot loop if this happens?
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      Nice one. Thanks Anthony!
    1. alfred131's Avatar
      alfred131 -
      One more question:
      Ios 7 and ios 8 or just is this "bug" only for ios8
    1. atorres062's Avatar
      atorres062 -
      This crap doesn't work! Every time I try to text someone it crashes upon trying to type.
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by alfred131 View Post
      One more question:
      Ios 7 and ios 8 or just is this "bug" only for ios8
      I believe itís everything 6 and up.
    1. evilcalvin's Avatar
      evilcalvin -
      Installed this, now I can not reply to text messages, the app crashes every time.
    1. edwilk55's Avatar
      edwilk55 -
      Quote Originally Posted by alfred131 View Post
      What if I didn't pay my monthly bill yet? You guys think? I'm still vulnerable to this Unicode message
      I'm sorry, but I have to ask. Why in God's name would you think this would have anything to do with the bug? Not trying to be mean, but I just have to know the thought process behind it.
    1. evilcalvin's Avatar
      evilcalvin -
      Quote Originally Posted by evilcalvin View Post
      Installed this, now I can not reply to text messages, the app crashes every time.
      Uninstalled it, now I can reply to text messages.
      iOS 8.1 | iPhone 6 | Pangu 0.4