A new exploit in Apple iOS and OSX has been found which crashes any application which contains certain characters of Arabic text.It crashes applications running on iOS and OSX that uses WebKit engine. But I have seen that same character set does not crash WebKit application on different platform. So we can be assured that the bug is of Apple not WebKit engine as a whole. (I tested Google Chrome on Linux)
Versions effected are, iOS 6 , 7 beta and iOS< 6 ,Mac OS X 10.8
Version not effected Mac OSX 10.9 beta and OSX<10.8
This fatal error can be reproduced if
- You send text message to your iPhone with the set of characters.
- You sen iMessage to Mac of iPhone.
- Those set of characters are displayed on applications like browser.
On Mac,I tested on Safari which crashed the whole Safari browser, but while on Google Chrome it only crashed the tab where the link was opened. In case you were wondering Firefox did not crash.If you are feeling adventurous and want to test which applications will crash the you can head to this link. Note this may crash your browser, if it does not then you will see the set of arabic characters.
Exploit Link: http://zhovner.com/tmp/killwebkit.html (Warning it may crash your WebKit browser) , copy paste the link I have deliberately not hyperlinked as to stop people from accidentally clicking it.
If you have Windows Phone 8 then you can not access Google Maps through the Internet Explorer browser. If you try to access the Google Maps page, you will be automatically redirected to Google home page.
We have seen earlier that Google does not play well with Microsoft OS, be it the new Windows 8 desktop OS or the Windows Phone OS. But unable to access the Google Maps web version is a completely different story. It seems to be the problem with rendering engine if the browser as the real reason.
The Google Maps mobile web version was made with WebKit engine, which never supports in Internet Explorer. As I personally don”t have a Windows Phone 8 device, I tried visiting the Google Maps mobile web from a desktop browser by changing the user-agent and was redirected to Google homepage.
Statement issued by Google: “The mobile web version of Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browsers such as Chrome and Safari. However, since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps online slots for the mobile web.”
Luckily the Windows Phone 8 has Bing Maps and Nokia Maps which the user can use as an alternative.
Google is now restoring Google Maps access on Windows Mobile. Below is a statement from Google.
“We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users.
In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users.
Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users.”