The “cursed image” that can crash your Android smartphone
It has been reported that an image of a seemingly innocent natural landscape makes Android smartphones unusable if they are saved as wallpaper.
The so-called “cursed image” of a pretty lake surrounded by mountains and trees affects a number of Android devices, including those made by OnePlus, Google Pixels and especially Samsung Galaxy devices.
If the image is downloaded and saved as wallpaper, this apparently activates a bug in the device’s Android software that “bricks” the phone, meaning the handset cannot be turned on or used from the phone. all. In some cases, it looks like the phone ends up being “soft-brick”. This means that even though it looks like you can still use your phone, it will repeatedly crash, display an error screen, and be virtually unusable.
This bizarre bug was first reported on Twitter by ‘Ice Universe’, a user famous for leaks and inside information.
Never set this picture as wallpaper, especially for Samsung cell phone users!
It will crash your phone!
If someone sends you this photo, please ignore it. pic.twitter.com/rVbozJdhkL
– Ice universe (@UniverseIce) May 31, 2020
Soon many other Android users with different devices responded to the tweet and confirmed the issue.
It seems that the cursed photo is affecting devices running Android 10 operating system.
But what is causing the problem in the first place? How can a simple photo of a lake make a phone unusable?
According to the Android Authourity website, the RGB color spacing in this photo cannot be processed by Android’s software.
The worry now is that since the cursed photo is in circulation, malicious pranksters will use it to trick people into downloading the image and unintentionally bricking their phones. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a fix for the bug yet.
However, Google is aware of the problem, so it will surely rectify the problem with an update soon.
That said, the Samsung SamMobile blog suggests that modifying the image, even slightly, should make it secure as long as you do so before setting it as your wallpaper. Apparently, some Android users affected by the bug also got out of the “soft brick” safely by launching their device in safe mode and setting the wallpaper to a default option.
Of course, the easiest way to avoid the problem is to simply avoid the cursed photo – whatever you do, don’t upload it and set it as your wallpaper. You were warned.
In another twist in the history of cursed photography, the BBC has tracked down the man responsible for the image. It was taken by a certain Gaurav Agrawal, an amateur and science photographer from San Diego.
Guarav originally uploaded the image to the Flickr website, where he has 10,000 subscribers. Of course he had no idea the image could cause so much chaos and told the BBC “I didn’t do anything intentionally, I’m sad people ended up having problems. I didn’t know that the format would do that, I have an iPhone. I was hoping my photo would have gone ‘viral’ for a good reason, but maybe it will be for another time. ”