Strange "all screen" notification while inside iOS Photos

#1

This is a new and bizarre one to me & googling has not turned up anything like this.

Photos app was open. (You can see it in the background of this screen shot.)

This all screen “notification” took over the screen. (I put “notification” in quotes as it doesn’t look like normal iOS notifications.)

The only time I’ve ever seen something like this on iOS was when in Safari and a site had some type of injected ad code that took over the screen. But, this wasn’t in Safari or a Safari view controller. It was in Photos!

I have no hypotheses on what this is or how it was made to appear. Could the carrier have injected this?

I’m curious if anybody has seen similar or has any additional ideas for what is going on?

thanks,
-Henry

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#2

Do you use jailbroken iOS?
It is possible to embed malicious code in some formats of image file, but I doubt iOS is vulnerable to this (I don’t think any OS has been vulnerable to this since like the late 90s.

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#3

This looks like a carrier message. The fact that it came up in photos may just be coincidence.

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#4

Definitely not jail broken.

I suspect being in Photos is a red herring of a clue, except that that means it wasn’t in Safari or a Safari view within another app.

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#5

Can carriers pop up full screen messages like that? If so, that seems the most likely answer. I was not aware they had the power to do that. E.g. when we have had tsunami alerts or the inbound missile alert in Hawaii my recollection is they appeared as more “Normal” notifications. Maybe carriers have an additional way to inject a message? That seems odd, but plausible.

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#6

These are called Class 0 or Flash SMS messages. They are basically SMS messages with some encoding in them such that they will be displayed prominently. It’s up to the device manufacturer how will they be displayed on screen. As for iPhones, this is how they are displayed.

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#7

Thanks for the explanation.

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