The magic number here is 600 million. 600 million Samsung Galaxy phones, ranging from the S3 to the newest S6, have the potential to be accessed and controlled by hackers.
This report comes from the cybersecurity firm NowSecure. According to CNN Money, NowSecure had notified Samsung about this vulnerability back in November and still nothing has been done to try to resolve this issue. Here we go again with keeping things a secret.
Why hasn’t anything been done yet? According to reports, Samsung argues that NowSecure didn’t give them the full report and extent of the vulnerability back in November. A Samsung spokesperson told CNN Money that they had just learned about the full extent of this issue last week.
In addition to not having a full report, part of the delay, according to CNN, comes from the way that the manufacturers work with the phone carriers, and the amount of time it takes for them to get this resolved.
The problem lies in the SwiftKey keyboard, which uses word prediction software. The researchers at NowSecure said that it was possible for the software to update, allowing for a corrupted file to take over the phone system that could then access files.
Andrew Hoog, CEO of NowSecure, stated that, in terms of severity, on a scale of 1-10 it ranks at an 8.3. Solid B- here.
What can Samsung users do to protect themselves? Reports state that the easiest way to try and avoid any issues, even though researchers are saying this isn’t easy to pull off, is to not use unsecured WiFi networks. It’s likely a system update will come soon (hopefully) to resolve this problem.
Back in October of 2014, Computerworld.com released an article stating how the NSA approved the use of Samsung devices for government officials because of their KNOX platform, which allowed personal data to be stored from a personal workspace.
This is all very interesting for the sole reason that the government hack we first reported on at the beginning of the month is more serious than what was originally believed.
So is China the culprit? They seem to be doing everything in their power to get into our damn business and hack anything and everything, but we can’t speculate just yet.
I think it’s safe to say that we’ll have some people going Team iPhone after this.