Android Phones Bricked By Picturesque Wallpaper Of A Lake

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Idyllic photo of a mountain lake surrounded by trees actually bricks Android phones, and in some cases only a factory reset will restore the device

Android handset have reportedly being bricked after users receive a picturesque wallpaper photo of a lake and trees.

The wallpaper is said to brick Android phones from Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus, Nokia and even Google Pixel handsets.

The problems with the ‘cursed’ picture of an idyllic lake surrounded by trees and mountains, was first noted by Ice Universe, which in a tweet warned users to ignore the wallpaper if it was sent to them.

Phones bricked

The problem is said to be so severe that the bug will reportedly make the phone unusable as the screen will turn on and off continuously.

In some cases a factory reset is required. Or in other cases, users can try boot their Android phone into safe mode and then change the wallpaper.

The bug seems to impact phones running Android 10, or lower versions of the mobile operating system.

Samsung is reportedly to roll out a maintenance update on 11 June to solve the issue.

Malware issue

So does the wallpaper contain some nasty coding or malware to cause this problem?

The answer is no, as the wallpaper does not seem to contain anything malicious.

Rather the problem seems to stem from the fact that the histogram value of the image is more than 255 and exceeds the sRGB limit of Android.

Essentially, it seems that because Android 10 (or lower versions of the mobile OS) are vulnerable to the wallpaper being in the RGB colour space, and the sRGH colour space on Android failing to detect the image, which in turn crashes the system.

This seems to imply that the bug does not pertain to one wallpaper.

Rather any image, which uses the RGB colour space could crash the older Android devices unless a fix is patched to overcome the issue.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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