Flash SMSs can reboot or cause connectivity issues on Nexus devices

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SMS might be a dying form of communication, but on its way out, it has managed to make Google’s Android its casualty. The issue was discovered by Bogdan Alecu, a system admin at Levi9, and will be made public at DefCamp security conference in Romania.

When a Flash SMS is delivered on the Nexus devices from Google, it pops up as an overlay on the currently running application and dims the screen. If a second Flash message is received before the first one is dismissed, it pops up as an overlay on the first message, further dimming the screen. When a large number of Flash messages are received like this, in a short interval, and not dismissed, the Nexus devices from Google act in a very strange manner.

In most cases, the device will reboot itself automatically, with connectivity issues following it. In some rare cases, the device looses mobile connectivity and regains it after a short while, but mobile data then stops working. The only way to fix this issue is to manually reboot the device.

Alecu says that he discovered the issue more than a year ago, and has tested it on the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5 running KitKat. The problem only affects the Nexus devices, and Android devices from other OEMs do not suffer from such issue.

Google has been informed of this issue and has confirmed that it is working on a fix. Until the fix from Google lands, users can use the free Class0Firewall app to prevent such situations.

Via – PCWorld