Simple picture turns a smartphone with Android into a piece of stone

Last weekend users found that a simple picture can turn Android smartphone into a “piece of stone”, if you set it as wallpaper.

The 9to5google magazine turned attention to the problem. Journalists say that the famous Ice Universe insider first reported about a strange bug.

On his Twitter account, he said that a regular picture with a landscape, if set as a wallpaper, can cause some smartphones to fail (especially Samsung), in fact turning them into a piece of stone.

“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”, — wrote Ice universe.

Ice Universe also added a “cursed” picture.

Picture turns smartphone into stoneIn fact, after setting the wallpaper, the device stops responding, constantly turns the lock screen on and off and does not allow doing anything else. Fortunately, these damages are reversible, that is, the device can be brought back to life using relatively simple methods, such as deleting a file in safe mode or a full reset through the bootloader.

It is highly recommended not to conduct tests on own devices, even if it is not Samsung. So, the video clearly demonstrates what happened to the Pixel 2 smartphone, owned by 9to5google, after installing these wallpapers.

Users and journalists tried dangerous picture on other devices, and received the following results: Huawei Mate 20 Pro, OnePlus, Pixel 4 XL devices running Android 11, as well as devices from several other brands, continued to work normally, while the Pixel 3 XL on Android 10 ceased to function.

Firstly, theories said that the problem could arise from corrupted image metadata, but it turned out that this was not the case at all. Soon after the first tweet, Ice Universe announced that after loading on Weibo, the colors in the picture had changed a little, and it became harmless.

As a result, it became clear that the bug is due to the color space of this particular image.

“The fact is that Android usually works with sRGB, while the dangerous landscape uses RGB. And if Android 11 the system is able to convert the color space (in the case if there is no support), then the version of Android 10 is not capable of it. That is, in fact, the problem is not only affecting this image, but similar crashes can occur when using other RGB images”, — said Android application developer Dylan Roussel.

Journalists have already contacted Google representatives to find out why this error occurs and whether to expect any corrections, but so far, the company representatives have not responded to the request.

Recall that Android OS has become the most vulnerable platform in 2019, but we also wrote that one message in iMessage can turn iPhone into a piece of plastic.

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James Brown

Technology news writer and part-time security researcher. Author of how-to articles related to Windows computer issue solving.

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