chaiOS link crashes Messages on both macOS and iOS


Mar 2, 2016
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I've just read about this link that crashes Messages on both macOS and iOS… on both Tom's Guide and 9TO5Mac.

This flaw was discovered by Twitter user Abraham Masri. It may not be worth posting, but since I didn't see anything about it posted here, I thought I'd share as an FYI!

From Tom's Guide:

"After we clicked the link, the Messages app tried to load a preview, and then froze, becoming completely unresponsive. Force-quitting the app didn't work, and we had to wait for the app to reboot itself.

This process seemed a bit flawed, though, as I saw a plethora of ads for online gambling, and the end result started a new text message to the person who created this fix. I found this fix by reading the replies to Masri's tweet.

A blog post by the security blogger Graham Cluley shows that this site contains code that looks pretty crazy, kind of like the scrolling walls of text from The Matrix, but in blue-and-white.

Fortunately, the chaiOS link doesn't put your device or data in any danger. Still, this kind of annoying flaw is the kind of thing that could drive you batty for a few minutes and leave you upset with the prankster who sent it to you."

From 9TO5 Mac:

"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.

It’s unclear what exactly is causing this problem, but it harks back to the “effective power” bug that plagued iOS devices a few years ago. Since then, we’ve seen a few other similar issues.

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."

Bottom Line: Don't click on mysterious or suspicious links!!!
Last edited:


Ambassador Team Leader, Senior Moderator
Jan 8, 2012
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Yeah, I read iMore’s take on it earlier and just shook my head in disgust. It’s amazing how people will sacrifice the innocent to get a point across. In this case, to get Apple to pay attention to his bug reports.

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