UPDATE, Nov. 8, 2019: The issue was caused by a little-known company called Syniverse. Please read our follow-up to find out what happened. The original story follows below.
People all over the United States received seemingly random text messages in the middle of the night on Thursday, causing a flurry of complaints on social media.
The messages, according to multiple people who posted about them on Reddit and Twitter, arrived from friends and relatives who said they did not send them. Some said they were messages that were supposed to have been sent on Valentine’s Day this year, but, for some reason, never were.
At this point, it’s not really clear why this is happening, but at least one wireless provider confirmed that people aren't imagining these random texts
“This is not a T-Mobile issue,” a T-Mobile spokesperson said. “It’s a third party vendor issue that also affected other networks. We’re aware of this and it is resolved.”
Sprint blamed it on a “maintenance update,” according to The Verge.
AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, did not respond to a request for comment.
Do you work or used to work at a telecom provider? We’d love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai securely on Signal at +1 917 257 1382, OTR chat at email@example.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reply All journalist Alex Goldman collected several reports of this happening on Thursday morning on Twitter.
Obviously, people who got the random text messages were very puzzled.
“I got weird texts from my ex-GF last night asking if I wanted her to wake up her husband so we could talk. I was so confused!,” someone posted on Reddit.
Another Redditor said: “I got a text message at 4 am from my ex that was completely random and made no sense. She said she didn't send it.”
The issues seems to be over now, but the internet is still very, very confused.
Subscribe to our new cybersecurity podcast, CYBER.