This week, several Microsoft Teams for Android users complained that they received random ‘FCM Messagess’ notifications. Soon after users vented their frustration with unwanted Teams notifications on social media sites, Microsoft probed the issue. Microsoft has isolated the source of the problem and already applied mitigation.
Notifications abuse hit Microsoft Teams
“We’ve isolated the source of the issue and applied a mitigation. We’ve confirmed that no further unexpected notifications are being sent to users’ Android devices,” Microsoft tweeted.
We've isolated the source of the issue and applied a mitigation. We've confirmed that no further unexpected notifications are being sent to users' Android devices. Additional details can be found in the admin center under TM221041.
— Microsoft 365 Status (@MSFT365Status) August 27, 2020
Here’s what happened
Earlier this week, Microsoft was hammered with Teams for Android users receiving random notifications comprising four exclamation points and spelling as well as grammatical mistakes:
“FCM Messagess. Test Notificationsss!!!!”
Soon after Microsoft acknowledged and started probing the issue, perpetrators sent out a fresh wave of notifications, this time without any mistakes. The second round of Teams notifications read:
“FCM Messages. Testing notification from Microsoft to investigate the problem.”
Did someone hack into Microsoft Teams?
One thing is for sure. Microsoft wasn’t responsible for these random notifications. Hence, questions arise: How did Teams users receive notifications? Did someone hack into Microsoft Teams?
In a follow-up tweet, Microsoft also recommended users against interacting with those notifications.
Google Hangouts fell prey to notifications abuse
Well, Microsoft wasn’t the only victim here. According to reports, Hangouts users also received similar ‘FCM Messages’ notifications.
Well, the motives behind sending out these notifications aren’t clear either. One possibility is that Android apps, in particular, have been careless with their popup notification keys and someone wanted to bring this issue to their notice. Again, we are only speculating here.
Google Chrome tackling notifications abuse issue
The spammy notifications abuse is a real issue and someone has to deal with it. Recently, TheWindowsClub revealed Google’s plan to limit the notifications subscriptions in Chrome. It will limit push notification subscriptions to 90 days.
Did you also receive those unwanted and seemingly spammy ‘FCM Messages’ notifications from Teams? Let us know in the comments below.