Home » Mobile » What is DCB_ASSOCIATION?




Mobile phones are becoming the primary way people are accessing the internet and playing games. People spend a lot of time on their phones and because of this, cybercriminals are targetting mobile devices and retaining sensitive data more than ever.

dbc_association text message

It’s no wonder some people panic when their phones act differently or receive suspicious text messages, especially when the text messages are only random codes like DCB_ASSOCIATION:Y3890K4007OOA7ASO9JOAF2UV8JFFUBAAI or DCB_ASSOCIATION:Y3890K42AI8S0RBVM9RR9FQ30B8HTJHDT.

If you received a text message like this, you may be wondering why it was sent to you and it can cause you to worry. Was your phone was hacked or somehow compromised from opening the message? We’ll answer that to help you learn exactly what DCB_ASSOCIATION is and why you received a text with a DCB_ASSOCIATION code.

What is DCB?

DCB is an abbreviation for Direct Carrier Billing, an online payment method that provides users with an option to make purchases by charging transactions to their mobile phone bill. Direct Carrier Billing is available on many platforms including smart TVs, computers, tablets, and phones. Android users also have the option to enable their mobile carriers as a payment method in the Google Play Store, Android apps, or Play Games app.

  • When your mobile phone carrier is enabled as a payment method, Google Play Store sends an SMS to your carrier and a carrier specific code (example: TMobile — 11119999) with the text of “DCB_ASSOCIATION: ${authentication_hash}.”
  • The carrier receives the SMS and authenticates the ${authentication_hash} to ensure that the request originated from the Google Play Store, originated from your Google account, and came from your device.
  • ​The carrier now becomes enabled as a payment option in the Play Store (even if the transaction was not processed) and a text message may be sent to your phone that says DCB_ASSOCIATION followed by a code.

Now that you know what DCB_ASSOCIATION is, there’s no need to worry (if you were worried). Your phone was not hacked and reading the text will not install malware on your phone (if you were suspicious). However, if you did not enable your phone carrier as a payment method on your Android device, change your password, remove your mobile carrier as a payment method, and contact your mobile carrier immediately.

Jared Harrison

Jared Harrison is an accomplished tech author and entrepreneur, bringing forth over 20 years of extensive expertise in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and various other tech domains. He has made significant contributions to the industry and has been featured in multiple esteemed publications. Jared is widely recognized for his keen intellect and innovative insights, earning him a reputation as a respected figure in the tech community.

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