There is a picture doing rounds on the internet. Codenamed as the “phone killer” the wallpaper is a malicious invention from someone. If you see the wallpaper from the image, it will look like any other high-quality image. But there is more to it than that. The image is not harmful in itself. Also, the picture in no way damages your device beyond repair and the wallpaper has nothing to do with cyber attacks or hackers.
The image started doing its round in the social media when a technical blogger by the name of Ice Universe, first tweeted the image. The tweet claimed that the image apparently forced shutdown many mobile phones while crashing applications in others. Out of curiosity, everyone started downloading the wallpaper and using it. It soon became like a challenge to test whose phones could work even while using the wallpaper. A point to note is that all phones beyond Android version 10 crashed instantaneously.
When I tried to upload the original image (left) to Weibo, I found that its color to change (right). At this time, the image became harmless, but when uploaded to twitter, the original image still does not change color, still harmful. So I suspect it may be related to color gamut pic.twitter.com/0A1PlUqlpv
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) May 31, 2020
Why does Wallpaper kill phones?
This became the question of the day. Apparently, it is not the image that is at fault here. The wallpaper helps exploit a vulnerability in all smartphones which is related to the features of chromatic gamut. The photo is not presented in the usual aRGB format. aRGB stands for Adobe standard Red-Green-Blue format of the image. All images that you put as wallpaper are actually a streamline of data presented in an array. These data values are in the range of 1-255 for mobile devices.
However, the photo you see in the picture is not a part of the usual aRGB standard. As a matter of fact, it is a rare image that uses sRGB or standard Red-Green-Blueformat. This format has the capacity to store an extra data point in the array. This standard allows data in the range of 1-256 for mobile devices. Unfortunately, your smartphones do not have the ability to synthesize the extra data value. This is the reason why your phones are crashing.
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