Some iPhones crashed after Apple attempted to filter out “Taiwan” and the Taiwanese flag in an attempt to appease the Chinese government, before the bug was fixed.
According to the Register, “Infosec whizkid Patrick Wardle revealed today that CVE-2018-4290, a denial of service flaw in iOS 11.3 and earlier, was in fact a programming blunder Apple introduced when it attempted to filter the Taiwanese flag and word ‘Taiwan’ from China-based iPhones.”
“In other words, iOS handhelds in China should filter out these banned terms, but instead crashed when encountering them – and this oversight even affected devices outside the Middle Kingdom,” they reported, before the bug was eventually fixed.
Wardle criticized Apple for appeasing the Chinese government and causing issues for its users in the process.
“Does Apple really add code to iOS to appease the Chinese government? Of course!” he declared. “And when that code is buggy, their users suffer.”
In 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook even praised China’s censored Internet, claiming during a technology conference in Wuzhen that China’s vision “is a vision we at Apple share.”
After Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wrote a letter expressing concern over Apple “enabling” Chinese censorship and surveillance, the company defended its actions, expressing, “We believe that our presence in China helps promote greater openness and facilitates the free flow of ideas and information.”