We have heard about different kinds of software and malware hacking your computer systems or bricking smartphones. Now, there seems to be an image that is doing exactly the same to Android phones.
Users have found a wallpaper that is reportedly ‘soft-bricking’ Android phones when used. As mentioned via Android Authority and 9to5 Google, this innocuous wallpaper doesn’t kill your handset completely but instead makes it go in a loop that keeps the device’s lock screen switch on and off continuously, even after you reboot it. This leaves you with just two solutions, either use the handset in a safe mode to delete that wallpaper or use the bootloader to reset the device entirely.
The wallpaper apparently plays with the colour spaces that your smartphone can support. It has been claimed that the image uses a RGB colour space instead of sRGB which is usually preferred by Android. So, Android 10 does not convert the RGB file whereas Android 11 does. So, placing the RGB image as a wallpaper causes the issue to happen.
So, for now this is affecting pretty much every smartphone made by OEMs Google, Samsung, Nokia, Xiaomi and more.
For what’s worth, a similar issue was reported back in 2018 on Android issue tracker. However, at that time the Google engineers said they were unable to reproduce the issue and closed the request.
On a related note, last month hackers reportedly broke into the core infrastructure of LineageOS, the open source OS based on Android. The company did confirm the breach but said that it was detected well before the attackers could do anything.