Random Text Messages from Network Glitch

Random Text Messages from Network Glitch

random text messagesThe United States saw a rash of random text messages sent out without the “senders” acknowledgment…

What has been called the “text message apocalypse” has sent a number of smartphone users into a fearful frenzy. Customers from all major mobile carriers across America received random text messages from friends, families, departed loved ones, and even the occasional Ex-partner.

In most cases, the supposed senders had no memory of drafting the text and none of the senders had the text in their outbox or messages thread. Customers were confused and afraid, they did not know if their phones had been hacked or worse their mobile network providers had been compromised.

Recipients received all assortments of text messages most of them around 5:00 – 8:00 in the morning on November 7th, 2019. Below are some of the recorded instances.

“On my way, be there in 5.”

“Mom, I’m feeling sick and I need rest, please don’t judge me.”

“I really appreciate you talking to me.”

“I love you.”

“Sorry to bother you on Valentine’s Day…”

Virus or Glitch?

Major mobile carriers such as T-Mobile were getting angry and frightened complaints from customers asking why their phones were sending unwritten text messages and that their carriers must be to blame. They all had a similar response, “T-Mobile said in a statement that the issue was with ‘a third-party vendor,’ and Sprint blamed it on a ‘maintenance update.’”

The actual reasoning behind all the “ghosts” texts was due to a third-party vendor AND all of the mobile carriers.

Valentine’s Day Random Text Messages

The issue derived from a glitch in the telecommunications infrastructure and some sources have pinpointed it to the cross-carrier messaging system initiative. A third-party vendor, Syniverse, was working on uniting four major mobile network carriers – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile so that the companies could all operate on the same messaging system. The new initiative will also the cross-carrier communication to flow seamlessly across carrier networks with instant notifications, such as the read notification or the iPhone message expressions.

Syniverse blamed the random text messages on maintenance updates. The company made a statement that “the server failed on February 14, and nearly 170,000 messages from multiple carriers didn’t go through. When that server was reactivated Thursday, those messages got sent.” Syniverse went on to say that they usually delete messages that are not sent properly and action is being taken to ensure this does not happen again. The company’s Chief Marketing and Product Officer, William Hurley, released a statement stating, “We apologize to anyone who was impacted by this occurrence.” Some tech experts went on to say that the text messaging software can be a mess at times.

This recent telecom mishap proves that the mobile telecommunications infrastructure is massive and can be elusive. If you could benefit from learning telecom location-based intelligence, contact the experts at GeoTel and prepare for the next telecom mishap!

Valerie Stephen
valeriestephen@geo-tel.com