Apple squashes bug that caused Taiwan to crash iPhones

Stripped Taiwanese Flag

Security researchers at ElcomSoft claim to have found a loophole in the new USB Restricted Mode, which rolled out Monday as part of iOS 11.4.1.

At this point, Patrick Wardle boils down the crashing applications to an error in the coding rather than a deliberate bug, but regardless of whether the crashes were intentionally programmed into iOS, the flag censorship certainly was, indicating Apple's willingness to appease the Chinese government. Said bug would crash iPhones any time Taiwan was mentioned or return a "null" code when searching for Taiwanese language in the iOS language and region settings.

China is the most populated country and the largest smartphone market in the world, and Apple would put an extra effort to please the large target audience.

Wardle, who is now a macOS and iOS security expert at Digital Security, said he was perplexed when a friend first reported her fully patched, non-jailbroken device crashed every time she typed Taiwan or received a message with a Taiwanese flag. Messages which were sent featuring the emoji included only a blank space.

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As the chief research officer at cyber-security company Digita Security, Wardle published details of his bug discovery in a personal blog post.

This is not the first time United States company has made diplomatic changes to its devices on behalf of the Chinese government.

The issue may be connected to China's request for Apple to censor Taiwan and its flag in China-released iPhones.

Apple shifted Chinese users' data to servers within the country in 2014 after officials complained information on citizens was being kept overseas. Apple had already announced it would introducing such a feature, where it would cut-off access to the iPhone or iPad via the Lightning Port, if the device has not been unlocked for the last one hour.

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Emojis may be a fun form of communication but they are destroying the English language, a recent study by Google has revealed.

Furthermore, around three-quarters of adults rely on emoji to communicate, in addition to a dependence on predictive text and spell checking.

They were first used by Japanese mobile phone companies in the late 1990s to express an emotion, concept or message in a simple, graphic way.

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