YouTuber EverythingApplePro has has been sharing a bug in iOS which causes any iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to glitch out after playing a malicious video link in Safari. The device will first slow to a crawl before freezing or crashing altogether, requiring a hard reset. This appears to be a longstanding bug because iPhones and other iOS devices running iOS 5 were found to be affected by the glitch.
As noted on Reddit, the top level domains that are currently hosting the glitchy video are vk.com and testtrial.site90.net.
Of course, there’s nothing stopping pranksters from hosting the video on their own domain or masking the destination URL using a URL shortener.
It would appear that the video causes Safari to leak memory, in turn causing the device to restart. Android users have reported being able to watch the clip without any issues and one macOS Sierra user wrote in comments on YouTube that watching the video caused Safari to crash his MacBook Pro.
This bug is obviously annoying though not on the same level as similar flaws that crashed Apple devices in the past, like a Messages exploit that would crash iOS and macOS devices upon receiving a maliciously crafted text message.
I can confirm that the video crashed my iPhone 7 Plus running iOS 10.1.1 and my iPod touch with iOS 10.2 beta 3. My phone, for instance, became unresponsive and eventually got stuck in the shutdown process, displaying the spinning wheel indefinitely.
A hard reset brings the device back to life: just press and hold the Home and power buttons simultaneously. If you own an iPhone 7/Plus, press the power and volume down buttons simultaneously for about ten seconds to force a hard restart.
We won’t embed the video for obvious reasons, but if you want to prank your friends by attaching the glitchy video to an iMessage, you can download it from this link.
A software update should fix this nagging flaw so that watching these maliciously crafted videos won’t crash our devices or cause them to become unresponsive.
Have you tried playing the linked video and if so, did it crash your device?