A new discovery by blogger Korben suggests that many MediaTek-based Android phones are susceptible to the strangest of hacks. All it takes to remotely reboot some unlucky user's phone is to text them the symbol '='. In MediaTek chipset language, this symbol apparently equals "shutdown and reboot". Korben demonstrated the vulnerability in the video below.
If you are unfortunate enough to get spammed with exploitative messages, you could have your phone rendered unusable.
Some popular Alcatel handsets, such as the One Touch Idol X
, Idol Ultra
, 997D, Pop C3
, S-Pop, and Star, have been confirmed as vulnerable.To find out whether your MediaTek-based phone gets lured by the trick, text yourself '=' without the quotes. If you end up rebooting, fear not - simply change your default messaging app to something other than the default one.
Hopefully the flaw doesn't end up bigger than what it currently is, otherwise hackers will have a field day with the majority of Chinese phones.