Wallpaper of Doom, How Color space Can Crash Android Phones.

Hello Internet,

Today I would like to talk about something you may already be familiar with, buzz about a cursed wallpaper that can crash android phones has been making the rounds on social media after an initial post by Twitter user Ice Universe:

“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.”

The Wallpaper Image in question.

The image seen on the left has been causing Android devices especially those manufactured by Samsung to crash and sometimes get stuck into a bootloop.

To understand why we have to look at how Android is set up to handle wallpapers. The wallpaper is part of SysUI and it was designed to use images with the standard RED GREEN BLUE or sRGB color space. However the image in question uses the RGB color space which SysUI wasn’t designed to handle, and instead of converting the image it attempts to process it causing an out of bounds error when SysUI attempts to access an array with the RGB data.

For a more detailed technical explanation I would recommend Android Authority’s post on the subject.

Android users should expect patches soon as there are several known fixes being tested by developers, however in the meantime I would recommend not changing your Android wallpaper.

That’s all for today, but stay tuned for more Cyber Security content,

-Killer Kat

One reply on “Wallpaper of Doom, How Color space Can Crash Android Phones.”

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