Shock horror: mass SMS attack can cause Nexus phones to lose network connection and/or reboot

Shock horror: mass SMS attack can cause Nexus phones to lose network connection and/or rebootIt’s been a while since we’ve featured some good old-fashioned scaremongering here on Mobot, but we’ve got a little beauty right here.

Bogdan Alecu, a system admin at Dutch IT company Levi9, has been keeping something under his hat for over a year: bombarding specific Nexus handsets with dozens of flash SMS messages can CAUSE THE DEVICES TO ACT ERRATICALLY.

What the heck’s a flash SMS? It’s a special type of SMS that demands attention before it disappears. Specifically, the user must decide whether to save or dismiss the message, as it isn’t automatically stored.

If around 30 or so of these flash SMS messages are sent to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google Nexus 4 or Google Nexus 5, the phones totally freak out.

In the majority of cases, the Nexus phone will reboot. Sweet mother of all things beautiful! Other times, the phone will lose network connection, and on occasion – wait for it – the messaging app will crash.

Hilariously, Alecu attempted to demonstrate the flaw at some sort of conference, but both times the Nexus phone failed to reboot. Man, I would’ve paid good money to see that.

Android users, please don’t be scared; a further 20 or so devices have been tested, but to date only the aforementioned Nexus devices appear to be affected.

Alecu adds that he’s contacted Google several times about this incredibly urgent matter, but has mostly received automated responses. You could not make this stuff up. Freakin’. Brillant.

The official statement from Google reads: "We thank him for bringing the possible issue to our attention and we are investigating.” Which means that they’ve shoved it miles down the priority queue because no one cares.

Story of the year? I think so. For a tad more detail, and to hear the story relayed as if it were literally The End of the World, hit up PC World.

Read more about: Google Nexus 4Google Nexus 5Samsung Galaxy NexusAndroid

Add a comment
2 comments

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 30, 2013 at 12:33

bombarding specific Nexus handsets with dozens of flash SMS messages can CAUSE THE DEVICES TO ACT ERRATICALLY.
Hardly the only thing that makes Android handsets act erratically - the OS itself comes to mind :p (Oh, come on, it's Saturday)

repouk  Nov. 30, 2013 at 13:45

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Email:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.

Comment: