There’s a video doing the rounds that, once watched, will render your iPhone unusable. Thankfully the effect appears to be temporary, and fixed with a forced reboot. However, no one quite knows what’s happening under the hood, so please avoid watching the video in question.
The video in question looks innocuous enough, being a 5-second-long, Vine-style MP4 hosted on a Russian social network. However, after you watch the video on your iPhone, your device will start slowing down to the point it’s utterly unusable and ultimately crash completely.
The video affects all iOS devices running anything from iOS 5 onwards. The strangest part of this whole thing is the delay between watching the video and the negative effects kicking in. Because it can take up to a full minute for your iPhone to stop functioning properly.
We’re not going to link to the actual video here for obvious reasons, but enough people have tested it to satisfy us it’s real. You can see the effect without having to test it yourself in this video by EverythingApplePro:
Pernicious Prank or Malevolent Malware?
The jury is still out on the nature of this video and how it’s actually causing iPhones to crash. It could just be a corrupt video file causing iOS to overload. Or it could be a form of malware that’s now lying dormant on the iPhones of anyone dumb enough to watch the video.
Either way, we recommend you avoid clicking on random links sent to you via iMessage or WhatsApp for the time being. But then that’s probably a good policy to follow at all times unless you trust the sender and the link they’re sending 100 percent.
If you’re unfortunate enough to have watched the video already then just force your iPhone to reboot to fix the problem. On the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus this means pressing the power and volume-down buttons together, while on older iPhones this means pressing the power and home buttons together. Keep them pressed until the Apple logo appears.
Have you watched the video in question? What happened to your iPhone? What do you think is causing this issue? Do you think this is just an honest mistake, someone’s ideas of a prank, or some form of malware? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Torbakhopper via Flickr