Android bug executes typed text in command line

— 9:37 AM on November 11, 2008

In another bit of embarrassing bug news, Wired reports that Google has encountered a problem with its Android mobile platform running on T-Mobile's G1 smartphone. The issue? Oh, nothing too serious—some users just noticed the phone sent all text they entered to the hidden Linux command line and executed it with root privileges.

One user in particular noticed the bug in an innocuous exchange:

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.

According to Wired, the bug affected "almost all" G1 phones. A Google spokesperson told Wired yesterday, "We fixed the bug on Oct. 31 and are currently rolling out the fix to G1 devices. . . . This bug does affect users of G1 running RC29 and earlier." Users must manually click "update" on the phone to get the new-and-improved RC30 firmware, though, and T-Mobile may still be in the process of distributing the patch.

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