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Windows Phone SMS bug discovered

13 Dec 2011

Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone front

Windows Phone users are being warned of a new bug in the latest version of the operating system which could allow hackers to effectively disable the messaging function.

WinRumours first reported the flaw after a reader contacted the title to raise the alarm. A specially crafted SMS is first sent to the Windows Phone 7.5 handset, which will then cause the phone to reboot and, once it has done so, prevent the messaging hub from opening.

The bug is not device specific and can also be triggered if the attacker sends a Facebook chat message or Windows Live Messenger message to a victim.

As many observers have already pointed out, SMS related bugs have affected both of Microsoft's main rivals in the space, Google's Android and Apple's iOS.

Most recently, Apple kicked security researcher Charlie Miller off its iOS Developer programme after he exposed a a flaw in the operating system which could allow rogue developers to bypass Apple's code signing restrictions on applications and remotely control an iPhone.

It could effectively let a hacker remotely download a user's address book, view their pictures and even make the phone vibrate - which is slightly more concerning than missing out on a Windows Phone message.

Microsoft will be keen to avoid any negative publicity from this revelation, however, as it struggles to make an impression on a market which is increasingly becoming a two-horse race between Google and Apple.

Microsoft has been in touch to say it is aware of the problem and we'll update this post when we hear more.

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Phil Muncaster

Phil Muncaster is news editor at, a role he has fulfilled since January 2010. Previously he was chief reporter for IT Week, having also worked as a reporter and senior reporter on the publication from 2005.

Before IT Week, Phil worked as a researcher for the Rough Guide. Prior to his work in journalism, Phil spent three years teaching English in Japan.



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