Every so often, a bizarre link or piece of text surfaces that, when sent via iOS or macOS, will cause noticeable issues to the recipient’s device. Today, the latest form of this has emerged in what’s being referred to as “chaiOS.” It’s a basic GitHub link on the surface, but it crashes Messages on both macOS and iOS…
The issue was first discovered by Twitter user Abraham Masri, who says the link has a host of effects on macOS and iOS, including freezing, resprings, battery issues, and more.
We tested the chaiOS bug and had mixed results. In some instances, sending the link would cause both the sender and recipient’s device to respiring or cause the Messages app to instantly freeze and crash. Furthermore, reentering the thread would cause the Messages app to crash again and again, making the only viable solution to regain access to that thread to delete it and start a new one.
In other cases, Safari would crash or display the spinning beach ball on macOS. We never experienced a full device respiring, but that’s not to say it’s not possible. Additionally, it sometimes caused dramatic lag in the Messages app and throughout iOS and macOS.
Issues like this generally are harmless and are mainly used for pranks on social media and in Messages. The ‘hack’ has been seen to work on the latest public versions of macOS and iOS, as well as select beta users. Apple generally doesn’t rush to fix these types of issues as they pose no immediate risk to users other than a brief annoyance.
The link itself is available in the tweet embed below. In general, this “bug” is just a pain all around in Messages. It’ll cause your device to completely freeze, prevent Messages from opening at all, and much more. This is definitely an instance where you should proceed at your own risk. [...]