Windows Phone 7.5 SMS Exploit Revealed

I am not the most devoted fan Microsoft has ever had.

Yes, I’ve used many versions of Windows (even Windows 2), I’ve owned the Xbox and 360, I have many Microsoft keyboard products, but I’ve also switched from Windows to Mac (although Win 7 brought me back) and ridiculed technologies like Windows Activation back in 2001 (when everyone was mad about it).

I really do want to like Microsoft these days, as they change their game and develop products like Windows 7 and 8 that appeal to me. Still, I can’t fall in love with Windows Phone.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad OS, I just haven’t felt the need to switch away from Android.

Now a Phone 7.5 SMS denial-of-service exploit has given me yet another reason to be a bit skeptical of Windows Phone. While Phone has slowly turned into a fairly capable product, they have had many growing pains along the way.

Now it seems that this exploit has shown up in Mango, which works by sending a text message to any Mango device causing it to reboot and disable the messaging hub. It can also be triggered through Windows Live messages and even Facebook.

The exploit isn’t widely known or used at this time, but it just shows how many security flaws that Phone 7 has run in to.

Early on many users complained that Phone 7 didn’t offer on-device encryption and lack of VPN. It’s funny because Windows Mobile 6 was considered a highly secure and capable product.

I love Windows Phone 7’s interface (which we all know is coming to 8 as Metro), but WP7’s security issues have likely hurt its reputation, and this new messaging exploit won’t help matters.

Will Microsoft get it fixed quickly? Yes, Microsoft is great at taking care of existing security issues, what I wish they were better at though is keeping them from having happened to begin with.

Notably, I will admit that similar security flaws regarding SMS have appeared both in Android and iOS, so perhaps I’m being a bit too hard on Microsoft here. Do I think that Windows Phone 7 is worth investing in? Almost.

Windows Vista wasn’t well received due to initial problems, but after a few patches it actually was a fairly good OS. This is also happening with Phone 7, I just hope it doesn’t turn out like Vista, where the reputation is ruined by the time it turns into a good OS.

What do you think of Windows Phone 7? Is it’s security issues really any worse for wear than other major mobile platforms? I think that it is probably true that Android, at least, has just as many security issues involved, but it is still a bit disappointing considering Windows Mobile was a rather secure experience.

WM6 was boring, sure, but at least we felt safe using it. Again, I might be expecting too much out of Microsoft here. I may have to take a leap of faith and just get a WP7.5 device when I’m ready to replace my current phone (likely in the next 3-6 months).

What do you think? Share your thoughts below.

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  • h9k

    Afaik there were no security issues on windows phone, and this isn’t a security issue either. The messaging client just crashes, that’s about it. The exploits for android and ios were far more dangerous. I don’t see any problem with WP7’s reputation, I don’t think you can compare WP7 to Vista. WP7 is a joy to use, I recommended it to several friends and relatives and they all love it.

  • Dan Stephens

    Really?  The only way you’ll hit one out of the park is over the backstop.  This was pretty shoddy.  Security issues?  Apparently you’re smoking and not sharing.  There haven’t been any submitted that I’ve ever heard of on WP7.  Android is a whole differnt ball game.

    As to UI… Android and iPhone are 1984.  All about running the aps.  As a software developer, it has always been a goal to allow the customer to do their job; to provide service.  Windows Phone 7 does that.  The others are still running apps from icons, just like 1984.

    And I still have the books and disks for Windows v1 as well as my Windows CE v1 device by HP.

    BTW:  You really don’t need to tweet these links several times.  Once is quite enough.

  • Nolan

    Well if you are concerned about this exploit then all of the malware in the Android market should make you shutter in your boots!!