It’s not just iOS that can be easily taken down by sending a given string of characters to a device running it, Skype also appears to exhibit a similar unexpected behaviour when a user receives some 8 characters which will cause the application to crash on multiple platforms.
If you are a Skype user on either Windows, Android or iOS then you need to beware of this notorious 8 character string that can easily cause mayhem for your trusty Skype app. The characters themselves would make you chuckle, it’s nowhere near the character string responsible for giving iOS users sleepless nights, it;s simply “http://:” (without the quotes of course).
After receiving the message and the app crashes, restarting the app will do you no good, it will crash again on startup, locking you out of the service. Skype’s Mac app and Modern Windows app – which is available for download through the Windows Store, however seem unaffected by the bug.
The problem was first spotted by users on Skype’s community support forums. According to a report by VentureBeat, a user who goes by the handle “Giperion” posted about the issue first, noting that deleting the chat history on a device didn’t help, because Skype would automatically download it again from the cloud after starting back up, and then promptly crash again. That thread has since been deleted for reasons that are unclear.
A Skype spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that the company was “aware of the problem and is working to provide a resolution.” Beyond that, there isn’t a public timeline for a permanent fix, or a clear reason why that string of characters causes the bug.
Getting the sender of the offending message to delete it and then downgrading Skype from version 7 to version 6 is supposed to let a user continue to access the service on Windows, for those users who need a temporary solution.