Sunday, November 09, 2008

Shocking G1 bug found!

Chalk this one up in the history of classic OS bugs.

Everyone has been very excited about the fact that Android is based on Linux, however no one anticipated this would lead to the greatest bug ever found in a mobile OS.

Apparently, the G1's version of Android has been running a phantom command-line shell underneath the GUI, which has super-admin root access and receives a copy of all keystrokes entered.
What does that mean?
Well, in a nutshell, it means anything you type into the phone is ALSO being entered into an invisible linux command line- so you could be entering commands and messing with the system without even realizing!

In fact, this is how the bug was originally found, by user jdhorvat on Google's code board:
I was in the middle of a text conversation with my girl when she asked why I hadn’t responded. I had just rebooted my phone and the first thing I typed was a response to her text which simply stated “Reboot” - which, to my surprise, rebooted my phone.

Wow. Imagine what would happen if someone texted you, asking you for a reminder of some hardcore Linux commands!

Epic Fail.

Luckily, since Android is open source, the problem was found rather quickly and an update fix was pushed out over the air to users before this bug had a chance to be publicized.
Still, if you're running firmware version 1.0 TC4-RC29 and earlier, try typing these 8 keystrokes: -r-e-b-o-o-t-.

That's a pretty serious bug if you ask me, and this makes me wonder about Dan Hesse's comments about Android not ready for Sprint yet...

More on this here.