In 2017, it was a series of emojis—simply sending these to an iPhone or iPad user would make the device crash. In April 2020, the new malicious message was a string of Sindhi text paired with the Italian flag—which would make iPhones freeze and restart.
Now, it is Android’s turn.
A new bug discovered by prominent Samsung news leaker ‘Ice Universe’, who tweeted a warning to to Android and particularly Samsung phone users not to set a particular image as a wallpaper.
“WARNING！！！Never set this picture as wallpaper, especially for Samsung mobile phone users! It will cause your phone to crash!Don't try it! If someone sends you this picture, please ignore it,” Ice Universe tweeted.
The wallpaper causes some phones to get ‘soft-bricked’, where they continuously restart. The issue can only be fixed by reseting the device using the bootloader or deleting the file after entering safe mode.
In the replies, people shared a video showing the issue affecting Google Pixel devices too. One user noted that it did not seem to affect OnePlus devices. Another user noted that the wallpaper triggered a SystemUI crash even inside an android emulator. Many users tried setting the wallpaper and then posted about their phones getting soft-bricked.
According to an XDA thread, an AOSP-ROM lead developer, Davide Bianco, identified the bug as being due to the image using the RGB colour space instead of the natively-supported sRGB profile. He submitted a patch for AOSP ROMs. In addition, two LineageOS developers posted two fixes to the issue, with one converting the image from RGB to sRGB and the other changing a value in it to fix the issue.
According to 9to5Google, the issue primarily affects Android 10 users. In addition, even minor changes to the image will not trigger the crash.
Ice Universe later tweeted saying, "Samsung has received feedback on this type of bug in mid-May, and has resolved this issue. Just wait for the subsequent firmware update and do not take the risk."