Samsung announced yesterday that they are working “as quickly as possible” to fix an exploit in some of its Android phones. The said exploit allows hackers to gain total control over the device.
Exploit on Samsung Devices
The exploit on Samsung devices was first reported last Saturday during the XDA Developers forums. Attracting a lot of attention from the tech press, the malware enables malicious apps tp control all physical memory of the device. In turn, hackers can do remote wipes, access to user data, and other malicious activities.
It was reported that all Android phones based on Exynos 4210 and 4412 are susceptible to the exploit. This includes Galaxy S II on Sprint, Galaxy Tab 2, Galaxy Note 10.1, and certain Galaxy Player modes. International version of the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Note II are affected, as well as the US versions of Galaxy Note II.
Android Central issued a statement, saying that Samsung is aware of the exploit and is working on a software update to fix it. The company said, “Samsung will continue to closely monitor the situation until the software fix has been made available to all affected mobile devices.”
The Exploit is a No Biggie
The exploit may sound pretty dangerous, but Samsung says that devices using credible and authenticated applications won’t be affected by the malware. Thus, users downloading trustworthy apps from the Google Play Store may have nothing to worry about. However, it is unclear whether the search engine giant’s malware scanner is picking up on this new exploit.
Although it looks like not a big deal for Samsung, it doesn’t look good for the company. A few months ago, the South Korean tech giant had to immediately work on a fix for another software vulnerability. The previous security flaw lets attackers to remotely wipe phones running Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. This could be achieved using a Web link with malicious code.
Other than the general malware affecting Android devices, there are also security flaws specific in Samsung phones. The common thread, however, is the mobile platform’s open app ecosystem that allows users to install any software that they want.
That’s why users are advised to take some basic precautions before downloading an app. Just like what Samsung says, credible applications won’t pose any danger, even for the latest exploit. But if a little extra cares sounds too much, there are still other mobile platforms such as iOS and Windows Phone that users can choose from.