- Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation music video from 1989 has a CVE now and it is officially recognized as a security vulnerability now.
- According to Raymond Chen’s post, playing the music video for Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation causes some certain old models of laptops to crash.
- Playing the music video on one laptop caused a laptop sitting nearby to crash, even though that other laptop wasn’t playing the video.
This is probably the first time that a music video is officially announced as a security vulnerability. Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation music video from 1989 has a CVE now. The music video, tracked as CVE-2022-38392, was capable of crashing certain models of laptops. According to the post, playing the music video on a laptop can also cause another laptop nearby to crash.
Natural resonant frequencies
The unusual power of Janet Jackson’s song is revealed by Raymond Chen, in a blog post on Microsoft. According to his claims, one of his colleagues shared the story from Windows XP product support. Chen claims,
« A major computer manufacturer discovered that playing the music video for Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” would crash certain models of laptops. »
If you are using a very old laptop and want to see if your device has this unusual “vulnerability”, here is the song. Play at your own risk!
Raymond Chen also stated that,
« And then they discovered something extremely weird: Playing the music video on one laptop caused a laptop sitting nearby to crash, even though that other laptop wasn’t playing the video! »
Thus, you can launch a denial of service attack on a nearby computer, which is vulnerable, only by playing this song loudly. He also stated that,
« It turns out that the song contained one of the natural resonant frequencies for the model of 5400 rpm laptop hard drives that they and other manufacturers used. The manufacturer worked around the problem by adding a custom filter in the audio pipeline that detected and removed the offending frequencies during audio playback. »