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File:/// crashes almost any Apple OS X Mountain Lion program

Posted on Tuesday, February 05 2013 @ 13:50:37 CET by

Apple logo
A curious bug has been found in Apple's OS X Mountain Lion operating system that causes almost any application to crash, all you have to do is type a word and a few characters. The particular string is "File:///" (case sensitive), type this into virtually any text input form and the program will crash. Previous versions of Mac OS are not affected by this bug.
The forbidden word is "File:///" (case sensitive). Type that in virtual any text input form (be it a notepad, a browser dialogue, a document editor, a calendar appointment, etc.) and the program will die. It appears that similar strings ("fILE:///" or "FILE://aa") can also trigger program crahes. In a bizarre twist, some crashes appear to be dependent on how fast you type certain variants (e.g. "File://" followed by characters). An Open Radar user named "Jonathan" shares a movie he made documenting that bizarre behavior here.

Among the programs confirmed to be infected are Tweetbot, Safari, Chrome, and TextEdit. The program appears to be tied somehow to some sort of deep-rooted API embedded into OS X (it appears not to be the spell-check API as the Safari location bar has no spell check, but is still affected).

In a particularly hilarious (or awful) failure, typing the problem string into Apple's Crash Reporter UI crashes the Crash Reporter.
Source: DailyTech



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