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Playing This Janet Jackson Song May Crash Your Laptop

by Abeerah Hashim
Janet Jackson song crash laptop

While you might like to play old songs, Microsoft, however, warns you against it – at least, for playing “Rhythm Nation”. That’s because Microsoft has explained that playing this old Janet Jackson song can crash your old laptop.

Here’s Why Janet Jackson Song “Rhythm Nation” Can Crash Your Laptop

In a recent short post, Raymond Chen, a Microsoft veteran, warned users to avoid playing the Janet Jackson song “Rhythm Nation” because it may crash a user’s laptop, particularly an older model. What makes the matter serious is that triggering this issue does not necessarily require playing the song on the target device. Instead, such crashes may happen even if a nearby device plays the song.

“Rhythm Nation” is a popular 1989 song sung by the American singer Janet Jackson. It’s been a favorite among the masses and has nothing to do with crashing computers or disturbing the work schedules of the public. But this seemingly harmless song has now become a problem for some old laptop models.

According to Chen, playing the song even on a nearby device can cause an old laptop to crash. This phenomenon happens due to the resonance the song creates with a 5400 rpm hard drive.

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 bug has been issued CVE identifier CVE-2022-38392 and categorised as a denial of service flaw caused by a “resonant frequency attack” via the Rhythm Nation music video.

Though, numerous manufacturers tried to tackle this issue by including a custom filter in the audio pipeline to remove the risky frequencies.

Given that it’s a typical hardware issue for certain hard drives, most modern laptops with new HDDs or SSDs remain immune to this issue. Nonetheless, some vulnerable models may still be in the use among the general public, exposing them to system crashes.

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