Skip to content

Google Messages users alarmed by influx of encrypted RCS texts

  • by
  • 2 min read

Google Messages users across various regions are receiving a wave of encrypted Rich Communication Service (RCS) messages, raising serious security concerns and leaving many puzzled about their origin and purpose.

These encrypted messages, characterised by strings of unintelligible characters, have sparked speculation and worry among users, primarily due to their unexpected nature and potential implications for privacy and security, reports Android Police.

A two-year-old Reddit thread is alive, with users complaining about receiving a strange encrypted message.

The encrypted messages, believed to be a part of a larger trend, have garnered attention for several reasons. Firstly, they often come from unknown senders outside users’ usual contact circles, leading to suspicions of potential privacy breaches or scams.

Secondly, users have reported difficulties in decrypting messages even from known contacts. While some issues were resolved upon resending the messages, the recurrence of similar complaints on Reddit suggests a broader underlying issue.

Users speculate these encrypted RCS messages to be an elaborate spam campaign.

A common link to all the encrypted messages is Google’s support page, detailing troubleshooting tips for this situation. “End-to-end encrypted messages only work when you communicate with another Google Messages user,” says the troubleshoot. If the sender or receiver changes the operating system or messaging apps, Google Messages may not detect the changes and hence, some messages may be delivered in an unreadable format.

To mitigate this, Google suggests updating your Google Messages app, turning off RCS, and updating the Carrier Services app.

Experts remain concerned about the situation despite confirming that this isn’t a zero-day RCS exploit. The sheer volume of encrypted texts, combined with their association with Google’s support resources, hints at a systematic attempt to gather information or engage in potentially malicious activities.

As Google is still silent on the issue, speculations abound on Reddit and other forums about malfunctioning spambots and security vulnerabilities, raising red flags for potential spam or scam activities.

Until Google gives an official explanation, users are advised not to respond to these messages. Also, users can utilise Google Messages’ built-in reporting tool to flag suspicious messages for further investigation.

In the News: Apple’s WiFi flaw enables mass surveillance globally

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: