Guru Agrawal: The amateur photographer who bothered Android phone users
Guru Agarwal, an Indian national living in San Diego, USA, could not believe his eyes when a picture of him suddenly appeared in the news.
As a scientist by profession and an amateur photographer, Guru Agarwal took this photo in August last year on a magical evening at Lake St. Mary’s in Montana’s Glacier National Park.
They shared the photo on the photo platform Flickr and then forgot about it.
But the problem with this picture is that when it is applied as wallpaper on an Android phone, the phone gets damaged. Last week, most users of Android phones have been complaining on social media that when When they used the specific image as their phone wallpaper, their phones broke down.
This photo shows a lake, a sky full of dark clouds, a sunset scene and a green coastline. Last week a tweet about it went viral and Mr. Agarwal contacted me.
“I did nothing deliberately,” he said. I’m sorry the phones are getting damaged because of this.
The screen of a mobile phone infected with the virus transmitted through this image constantly opens and closes. Some mobile phones also require a factory reset.
The BBC does not recommend any attempt to use this image on mobile.
Mr Agarwal told the BBC it was “a beautiful evening” and that he was with his wife when he took the picture. This was his third visit there for the best photo.
The atmosphere was blurry and cloudy and we thought the best view of the sunset would not be here. We were about to leave when the weather began to change.
He started capturing these scenes on his Nikon camera and then later edited the images using the editing software Lightroom. And maybe that’s where the virus came from.
Mobile phones from many other brands, including Samsung and Google Pixel, have been affected by the image
Lightroom offers two color mode options and the option they chose is probably confusing the Android handset. They were not aware of this error because they had never tried it.
He said: ‘I didn’t know that format would bloom. I have an iPhone that always has a picture of my wife as a wallpaper. ‘
Mr Agarwal has more than 10,000 followers on the photography platform Flickr and his photos have been published by National Geographic Magazine.
“I thought my picture might have gone viral for some good reason, but it might never happen again. From now on I am going to use the second format.
On the other hand, Samsung will release a new update for its mobile phones on June 11. The BBC has contacted Google but has not yet received a response from the company.
An initial tweet about the issue was liked and retweeted thousands of times. In response to this tweet, some users found out that their phones have also been affected by this picture.
Technology journalist Bogdan Petrovin says that although his Huawei 20 Pro was not affected by the image, the Google Pixel 2 has malfunctioned.
“The phone crashed as soon as I made this picture wallpaper,” he said. The phone tried to reboot, but the screen continued to open and close, making it impossible to move beyond the security screen. He added that restarting the phone in safe mode did not resolve the issue. The virus has also infected some phones of the latest version of Android, the Android 10 model, but most of these models have survived. Android 11 was supposed to be introduced in the market this week, but the launch of this model has been postponed for now.
Authorities have not yet released any details about the virus.
Ken Monroe and Dave Lodge, affiliated with the security company Penn Test Partners, have analyzed the situation for the BBC.
According to him, while the quality of digital images has improved, the phone should have the ability to test the colors of the image and how to display them. This is how a phone shows, for example, how to display the correct type of green.
The color system can be explained in many ways. Some are specific to graphic design. So sometimes you see images that are not usually available in RGB format. So it is possible to create an image that has so much information about its colors that certain phones can’t stand it.
“The phones crashed because they did not have the capacity to deal with such a situation and the makers of them probably did not think that such a situation could arise.”
Who is involved in hacking the WhatsApp of Pakistani authorities with the help of Israeli technology?
According to the news it is not clear who is involved in this attack but it was feared that Pakistan’s traditional rival India may be behind it.
When the BBC contacted Pakistani officials to confirm the news, they said they had no knowledge of the hacking.
It may be recalled that a ‘confidential’ message released by the Pakistani Ministry of Information Technology and Communication last month came to light stating that ‘senior government officials holding sensitive positions are on the official messaging app WhatsApp. Do not send documents, use your WhatsApp with the latest updates and stop using your phone purchased before May 10, 2019. The letter, issued on November 8, states that Has acquired the capability to access mobile phones and is said to have affected consumers in more than 20 countries, including Pakistani consumers, with the help of an Israeli company, NSO’s spyware. Six weeks after the letter was published, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority issued a press release on December 20, citing media reports, saying that the PTA had not only sought details of affected consumers in Pakistan. The matter has been taken up with the WhatsApp administration but the precautionary measures taken by the WhatsApp administration Awareness of the steps that can be taken to prevent future hacking.
The press release issued by the PTA was issued a day after the news was published in the Guardian newspaper.
Is it just a coincidence?
When the BBC spoke to sources working on technology and digital rights in Pakistan, they denied the government’s position, pointing to the possibility that “state-to-state espionage has taken place, ie (possibly) a. Another country has hacked the phones of some Pakistani government officials.
In October of this year, WhatsApp filed a lawsuit in a US court against Israeli software maker NSO, alleging that the cyber-weapons company had “at least visited more than 20 countries around the world.” The mobile phones of 1400 people were targeted with the help of an error in the WhatsApp.
WhatsApp said in its petition that the organization’s software targeted lawyers, journalists and human rights activists. Sources at the Citizen Lab, when asked by the BBC if Pakistani officials’ phones were also affected, did not explicitly confirm or deny the answer, but said, “I did look into the matter.” Should go
Sources connected to technology and digital rights in Pakistan also told the BBC that they were in close contact with the Citizen Lab, which had expressed concern that the phone calls of Pakistani officials holding important and sensitive positions were ‘state two’. I was affected by the state attack.
It may be recalled that earlier this year, a meeting of the Corps Commanders of the Pakistan Army had reported that Pakistan Army officials had been asked to close or leave their WhatsApp groups.
According to another similar message, all present service officers of the army were also warned that disciplinary action could be taken against them if they did not disassociate themselves from all WhatsApp groups.
Several Pakistani military officials confirmed to the BBC at the time that the messages were accurate and added that the reason for the orders was “security”.
A press release issued by the PTA 11 months after the army’s order in January raised a number of questions about whether there was any connection between the allegations made in recent news and government orders. The government-run National Information Technology Board also said it was replacing the WhatsApp with a locally developed messaging app.
To clarify these doubts, when the BBC asked Shabahat Ali Shah, the head of the National IT Board, he said that NITB has been working for the last six months to develop this app so that at the federal level A communication technology should be selected and the purpose of developing this program is to improve and facilitate communication at the government level.
“Our project has nothing to do with hacking and we have no information about WhatsApp hacking.”
Faisal Iqbal, another NITB official, also told the BBC that the app developed by his organization had nothing to do with the report in the Guardian newspaper.
Citizen Lab senior researcher John Scott Royalton, in a statement to the Guardian newspaper, said that this type of spyware is used by enemy countries against each other and through it they spy and monitor.
It should be noted that when the lawsuit was filed by WhatsApp, it became clear that at least 100 people, including human rights activists, lawyers and journalists in India, had their phones targeted. Was made
Numerous human rights organizations and individuals in India have criticized the Indian government and questioned whether it had bought NSO spyware and helped journalists.
And targeted human rights activists.
The NSO on its own has strongly denied the allegations, saying it only provides its technology to governments so that they can work to eliminate terrorism and serious crime.
The Indian government had denied the NSO’s response.
France: ‘Million Dollar Drugs’ Originally Made Sweet
Police in Paris announced this week that a “successful investigation” and raids had uncovered dangerous drugs MDMA and Ecstasy, valued at more than 10 1 million.
But it would not be wrong to say that the “fruits” of this operation have been received by the police in a slightly different way.
Sources close to the investigation say the pink powder was in fact a crushed sweet. ۔ ‘
According to Le Parisien, a suspect is facing legal action because police found stolen mobile phones as well as a machine used to make ecstasy tablets.
But it is not clear why the seized goods were initially classified as illegal drugs, nor why such a large quantity of ordinary sweets was ground into powder.
Error in identifying seized ‘drugs’ is possible. Authorities in Thailand last year claimed to have seized the country’s largest consignment of ketamine, but it turned out to be a cleaning powder.