The Zimbabwean Perspective

A look at our lives and the tech we use in them

Security Tech

There’s and Instagram story that can cause your iPhone to crash!

And you guys though iPhones don’t get viruses….

So over the whole of last week, an interesting trend on tech twitter started to emerge. An Instagram account by the name of Talal or @pgtalal was apparently causing phones to crash if you viewed his stories or highlights. The effects of said story differ per Android device, but essentially if you’re using an iPhone, the basic gist is that dont open this person’s stories because it literally will cause your phone to crash. We actually tested it out ourselves and got a similar result, but we’ll let the YouTube video below, courtesy of MrWhoseTheBoss, explain things a little more for you.
So if you didn’t watch the video for a quick run-down, here’s a condensed version for you:
  • These story posts really will cause your iPhone to crash
  • While not malware of any kind, they’re essentially a hack use by Talal which causes different devices to have different effects and reactions
  • Talal himself is apparently only 14 years old.
Shocked? Yeah me too, by the 14-year-old part anyway. The creation of the glitch-based stories themselves not so much, after all developers essentially make a habit of looking at code, breaking it down and finding loopholes when they can. Others make money out of it, that’s what bug bounty programs are for. However once you see the loopholes used in this case and how they’re essentially a surface level tweak that really almost anyone with some technical knowledge could exploit, you get a little more worried. After all Instagram literally has hundreds of people it employs. Working out some more system kinks should be a given, especially if someone can make a bug that literally causes iPhones to break. And as was shown they have already patched the issue meaning no one else can make stories like the ones Talal did, but of course other vulnerabilities exist too and if anything sections like this only encourage people finding them out.
In the end this is just another reminder that software isn’t perfect, and that no device is immune to glitches, crashes or just straight up viruses, even the iPhone. Hopefully no one who reads this has to encounter those kinds of cyberattacks, and we won’t need an to hope there isn’t another “virus” killing our phones. Well, here’s to hoping those bug bounty programs keep working.

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