Apple has addressed the recent iOS Messages bug that is causing havoc for iPhone users with bad friends.
Earlier in the week it emerged that it was possible to crash Messages and even reboot a person's iPhone by sending them a specific iMessage text composed of a string of symbols and Arabic text.
At the time we made the comment that Apple would be onto the job of fixing the issue pretty quickly, given its serious nature.
Well, we haven't had that fix just yet, but Apple has at least acknowledged the bug's existence. It's also provided an official workaround over on its support pages.
Apple's solution is to first ask Siri to "read unread messages." Then, use Siri to reply to the offending message.
This will grant you access to Messages once again without it going all loopy on you. Now, simply head to the troublesome message, swipe left, and opt to delete the thread.
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If you want to keep the thread (maybe your best friend sent it "for a laugh") then tap and hold the message, select More, and delete the message from the thread.
That's Apple's take on how to deal with this particular annoyance - and it's one that had been suggested by third party sources already. Presumably Apple will issue a more useful and permanent kind of fix before too long.