Skype updates apps to crush crash-causing text bug

Meanwhile, last week's similar iPhone lockup flaw remains unpatched

Skype today updated the Android, iOS, OS X and Windows versions of its Skype chat client to quash a bug that crashed the apps when a few characters were received.

The bug, which surfaced Tuesday, crashed Skype clients when they received an instant message composed of "http://" -- the opening characters of all Internet addresses. The apps locked up and would not let users log in to the service. The only solution was to uninstall Skype on the personal computer, tablet or smartphone, then reinstall it.

Initially, Skype said that it had no workaround, but today the video and instant messaging chat vendor issued client updates to fix the problem.

"Our engineering teams ... have released updates for all impacted Skype platforms," said someone identified as Aimi on the Skype support discussion forum.

Skype, which is based in Luxembourg, is part of Microsoft.

The Skype flaw was reminiscent of one on Apple's iPhone that got attention last week. In that case, a longer string of Unicode characters sent via SMS (short message service) text or to iOS's own Messages app locked up the device when the message was opened or viewed as a notification on the lock screen.

Apple has not patched that bug, but it did post an advisory in which it suggests that users call up Siri and tell the digital assistant to "read unread messages."

Apple promised to update iOS with a permanent fix, but gave no timetable.

The new Skype clients can be downloaded from the service's website, or current users can manually trigger an in-place update.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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