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Can a text message infect Android?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Double44, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Double44

    Double44 Well-Known Member
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    It's kind of a silly question but I'm curious. Can Android be infected by a simple text message?

    I'm not necessarily referring to the content of the message. I'm referring to the actual raw text message itself, being sent from someone like a relative (assuming they have an infected device)?

    How does the message travel? Does it visit the carrier first, then travel to the recipient in a different format? Is the message being sent as a file or plain text? Could any of the above apply to multimedia/picture messages or phone calls?

    I'm assuming if any of this were true, there would have to be an executable involved to perform anything, and I'm not sure if any of that is possible with a text.
     

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  2. Thom

    Thom  
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    Thread moved from Android Lounge to forum dedicated to phone.

    ... Thom
     
  3. Double44

    Double44 Well-Known Member
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    Hi, don't all text messages apply to all Androids with a mobile carrier? I thought I chose the right forum (Android Discussion Lounge)? :thinking:
     
  4. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    I don't think so...

    text messages are sent through some service.. be it your wireless carrier or 3rd party like google. the packet shell would only have info needed to deliver the package. I would think that any extra in the packet shell would auto fail that communication.

    I would think you can only send viruses via an attachment.. that you have accept.. to install.. or run. text alone can not do harm.
     
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  5. !on

    !on Android Expert
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    Not heard of this. Symbian on the other hand could spread files (.sis) by text or over bluetooth, without the knowledge of the phone holder.
     
  6. Thom

    Thom  
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    Thread returned to Android Lounge for further exploration of the general qeustion.

    ... Thom
     
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  7. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert
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    Perhaps something could be sent via MMS, but not through SMS.
     
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  8. binaryhermit

    binaryhermit Well-Known Member
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    There was an iPhone vulnerability where a cracker could gain control over your iPhone through malicious SMSes. AFAIK there's no known way, but it might be a little arrogant to say that it can't be done.
    The iPhone's SMS vulnerability: What we learned | Macworld
    (interestingly, the article said Android and Windows Mobile also had vulnerabilities. This was in 2009, though, so it's likely those vulnerabilities no longer exist because they've been dealt with)
     
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  9. Double44

    Double44 Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for moving it back :)

    This is kinda the same idea I was following. But how could a picture message contain anything? Or is it that MMS is capable of sending more than just pictures?
     
  10. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    yeah.. I don't know how MMS would have anything too.. but that was my only what if...

    there situations where a SMS can have access to your phone and control it...
    but that requires the phone already be setup to do it.
    the owner must first download an app.. install it.. and give it admin rights.
    there are security apps that you can load for lost or stolen phones that do that.
    example: Cerberus and Lookout
     
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