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Text message can lock out Nokia S60 devices

updated 06:40 pm EST, Wed December 31, 2008

Nokia S60 Curse of Silence

Nokia's handsets running on the Symbian S60 operating system are vulnerable to what is being called the Curse of Silence attack that knocks out the devices' ability to receive SMS and MMS messages, a German group has found. The Chaos Computer Club has somehow discovered this weakness which allows a specifically formatted incoming e-mail message that contains at least 33 characters to disable the handset's ability to receive any further messages. Devices running S60 version 2.6 and 3.0 lock up after receiving just one message, while 2.8 and 3.0 versions of the software will stop the functionality after receiving 11 messages.

As of this time, the only way to prevent the devices from being affected by the Curse of Silence is to install an SMS-blocking application that only lets through messages from approved sources. Chaos Computer Club has brought the issue to Nokia's attention and GSM carriers ahead of the embedded video's broad release on December 30th.

Apparently, the only current fix for affected handsets is a hard reset for affected handsets and it is not yet known if Nokia has released or plans to release any sort of fix via a firmware update. [via BGR]

by MacNN Staff



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