In addition to a bug being discovered causing iPhones to crash based on a simple string of characters, now Skype has been affected in a similar fashion. If someone received a Skype message with a string of : not only would the application not open but it actually crashed, regardless if opened on Windows, iOS, or Android devices. However, the bug did not appear to impact Skype for modern windows and Mac users.
Initially, there was no do-it-yourself fix for the issue other than to ask the sender to delete it and reinstall an older version of Skype. The challenge was that this could only be accomplished on Windows. Upon learning about the bug, Microsoft was asked for comment. Following this, Skype released a patch for Windows that can fix the problem.
The bug was first identified when a Skype user by the name of Giperion created a post in a community forum. As part of the post, this user explained that even clearing out the chat history had no affect because this is downloaded from the server. Therefore, Skype will only crash again.
Obviously, the bug had to be confirmed through testing, which involved the characters being sent from a Skype for Windows to a Mac. While the Windows Skype crashed, the Mac did not. From there, characters were sent from Skype for Mac to Windows but in addition to the Windows application crashing it also locked it down permanently. When trying to open Skype after the initial crash, the application would launch but then crash quickly, rendering the application completely useless.
Additional testing was performed on both iOS and Android, which also created an initial crash followed by a permanent lockout. Researchers found that for mobile platforms, a user had to receive the characters on those particular platforms in order for the bug to deploy.
After conducting independent testing, Skype was reached out to regarding the issue to which they responded that they would provide an update soon. As promised, Skype finally confirmed the bug and promised work was being conducted to reach resolution.
Finally today, Skype announced that the bug was fixed. In response to an outpouring of concerns, a company spokesperson said that updates have been rolled out for all products that were impacted. Because of this, Skype does not need to be uninstalled.
Instead, an individual can go to the download section on Skype’s website to install the latest version of the application. For iOS and Android users, the Skype patch can be found by visiting the app store and choosing update.