A malicious video is being distributed online which slows down and eventually freezes iPhones, although Android and Windows devices appear to be unaffected.
Viewing the three-second video in Safari affects all iPhones using iOS 5 onwards, which means any versions from the iPhone 4 to the new iPhone 7 are at risk.
When the .MP4 video is played, the smartphones are useable for several minutes still, but they gradually slow down when they’re running tasks. Eventually, they will freeze and shut down, and will require a hard reboot for you to get going again, though fortunately there doesn’t appear to be any lasting damage.
To restart your device if it is affected by the bug, simply hold down the power and Home buttons for several seconds, or the volume-down and power buttons if you own the iPhone 7.
So far there has been no comment from Apple, nor have any fixes been released yet, but the best practice is for you to avoid clicking on any video links that you don’t recognise or trust.
This isn’t the first time Apple users have experienced problems like this; earlier this year a problem known as ‘error 53’ was ‘bricking’ devices, even wiping some users’ iPhones.
While we haven’t tested the ‘prank’ video ourselves, 9to5Mac said: “You can take our word for it when we say that it really does render your device unusable.”