Apple's Taiwanese flag ban leads to iPhone crashes

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The bug (CVE-2018-4290) also had a temporary fix, and that was to go and switch your region on the iPhone from China to U.S., and then switch it back to China.

Any company that wants to do business in China has to abide by the draconian censorship laws imposed by the country's government.

Mr Wardle said: 'If Apple had never tried to appease the Chinese government, the bug would never have been introduced in the first place'.

For those who came in late, Apple is seeing shrinking worldwide markets as the market for those with more money than sense starts to dry up. The bug caused iPhones to crash.

ElcomSoft has ordered other non-original USB accessories for the iPhone to see if they can also be used to reset the USB Restricted Mode timer. This feature is supposed to make it more hard for hackers - as well as law enforcement and government agencies - to unlock your iPhone.

Messages sent with the flag instead displayed as a "missing" emoji. The bug affected nearly every messaging app including iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.

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Dating back to the start of a year ago, iOS seemingly included a censorship feature which banished the Taiwanese flag emoji whenever the handset's location is set to China. Emojipedia also confirms this on its site by saying, "This flag is hidden from the emoji keyboard on iOS devices where the region is set to China".

He said the emoji triggered a crash in iOS as the censored version of the operating system read it is an "invalid input", rather than a symbol missing from Apple's library.

China regards Taiwan as a rebel region that must be reunited with the mainland, despite the island essentially achieving independence in 1950. China claims the country as its territory, but Taiwan claims it has the right to self-govern.

An Apple sales associate speaks with a customer waiting to purchase a new iPhone X in NY, U.S., November 3, 2017. These restrictions drove Google to end its Chinese business operations a decade ago.

Wardle has more details of the bug on his blog. In fact, the full list of security fixes included in the update can be found on the company's website but, of particular interest is the second entry regarding how emoji were handled under certain circumstances.

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