A new malicious WhatsApp ‘text bomb’ is circulating that can block off access to your apps and crash your entire smartphone.

The bug affects both iPhones and Android phones and occurs when a specific message is sent to handsets.

It is even more dangerous than the infamous smartphone-crashing Telugu alphabet text from February, because this new SMS doesn’t even need to be opened – just receiving it can trigger your handset to switch off.

Revealed on Reddit, the message reads “This is very interesting!” and signs off with the popular “face with tears of joy” emoji.

Lurking within this seemingly innocent text are tens of thousands of invisible “left-to-right” and “right-to-left” control characters that can derail your device.

If you’re on the receiving end of the new text bomb, you may find that your iPhone or Android phone becomes unresponsive and you won’t be able to open WhastApp and other messaging apps may be inaccessible too.

To make matters worse, your phone could crash, forcing you to restart it.

Fortunately, it doesn’t seem as though the WhatsApp bug will wipe your handset or require you to completely reboot the device.

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