A bug found in Safari opened an opportunity for a young hacker to mess up with your phone.

The website, crashsafari.com, appears to run javascript code that overloads the browser, from where the page was opened, with an infinite series of numbers causing the app to restart with no permanent harm to the smartphone.

The hack can affect people who use Safari on iPhones and iPads by restarting the app. On the desktop version, Safari just freezes and does nothing for a while. On the other hand, in Chrome for Windows, IOS and even Android the app crashes although the operating system stay intact. However, the person needs to close the tap to restart.

Image: AmongTech
Image: AmongTech

Crash Safari and an identical site called crashchrome.com exploit browser’s history feature to kill them on comand, said Mikko Hypponen, the chief research officer at security firm F-Secure. The bug had been reported in a Chrome developer’s forum in 2014 but the company did nothing to fix it.

The creator of the crashing page was Matthew Bryant, a 22-year-old working in application security in San Francisco. “In my spare time I often test how browsers will handle odd code that gets thrown at them,” says Bryant. He also added that he found the bug independently, and made the site “purely as a joke”.

Many jokes came to surface in social media with the website, as people trolled their friends by using a shorter link and making crash their phones without people realizing what has happened. Facebook and Twitter’s user have been publishing the page non stop since the beginning, and even some pages offer now a warning before going to the URL.

Experts said that the crash is inoffensive, but that some people may experience their phone crashing repeatedly as Safari reloads and then tries to visit the same URL. Nevertheless, they suggest to put the phone in airplane mode so it can stop the cycle.

Source: WIRED