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This text could crash your iPhone

A combination of emojis can confuse iOS 10 into temporarily crashing. Here's what you need to know.

Sarah Tew

As if receiving a text from an ex isn't bad enough, now there's a far worse kind of unwanted message to worry about. This one can crash your iPhone.

YouTube channel EverythingApplePro highlights a sequence of characters that appear to temporarily freeze an iPhone, which you can send to someone to put their kibosh on their phone. Here's how it works: a white flag emoji, the digit "0" and a rainbow emoji confuse iOS 10 when it tries to combine them into a rainbow flag.

According to the video, sending those specific characters in a text message to an iPhone running certain older versions of iOS 10 will cause that phone will freeze. The hapless recipient doesn't even have to open or read the message -- the phone freezes as soon as it receives the text.

Fortunately, creating and sending the shady text isn't as simple as just sending a text, and it also doesn't affect the latest version of iOS -- so you shouldn't worry too much. We weren't able to replicate the crash, but here's the video explaining how the problem works and how to fix it.

If you do receive the questionable text, don't worry. Your phone should eventually unfreeze or restart.

Apple declined to comment.

It seems like someone's always trying to mess with your tech. The FBI recently disclosed how it hacked an iPhone while investigating the San Bernadino shooting, while US intelligence agencies are currently embroiled in a war of words with President Elect Donald Trump over allegations of Russian hacking.

On a lighter note, here's 20 times that Hollywood got hacking right (and very, very wrong).

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