Bug Could Crash Nokia Handset SMS Service

A new bug dubbed “Curse of Silence” is creating problems on some Nokia (NYSE: NOK) handsets. The bug exploits the way that Series 60 handsets handle messages that appear to be from e-mail addresses, and phones running S60 2.6, 2.8, 3.0 or 3.1 can be prevented from receiving any more SMS until they go through a “factory reset,” which wipes out
everything. It’s not a particularly dangerous bug since it does little more than inconvenience the victim (possibly to a great extent, admittedly) while not giving the attacker any significant benefit. However, it doesn’t even need to be an attack — apparently any message from an e-mail with more than 32 characters will trip the bug — my main personal e-mail has 29 characters. I imagine the biggest threat will come from pranksters. The issue is raised by Cat Keynes at El Reg, who says that Nokia has known about the bug for a while and done nothing, and it sounds like it would be relatively easy to fix.

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