Own a Samsung Galaxy S7? You should read this
A flaw detected in the smartphone could allow hackers to spy on tens of millions of users
Samsung’s Galaxy S7 smartphones have a security flaw that could allow hackers to spy on tens of millions of users.
The smartphone, owned by more than 30 million people, contains a compromised microchip which would enable cybercriminals to exploit a flaw called Meltdown.
Meltdown was uncovered earlier this year and only affects chips designed by Intel. It is believed to have existed in devices dating back 20 years, but was disclosed to chip makers Intel, ARM and AMD in 2017.Potentially, it could allow hackers to bypass the barrier in hardware between applications and a computer’s memory, allowing them to steal passwords.
Experts have called on Samsung smartphone owners to make sure their device is fully up to date to avoid being hacked by what has been described as “one of the most significant vulnerabilities ever discovered”.
The Galaxy S7 flaw was found by researchers at Graz Technical University in Austria.
They expect to find more vulnerabilities across other smartphone models, according to Reuters.“There are potentially even more phones affected that we don’t know about yet,” said Graz Technical University researcher Michael Schwarz.
Samsung has now issued a patch to solve the problem. Rob Shapland, a principal cyber security consultant at Falanx Group, urged Galaxy S7 users to update their phones to avoid being hacked.Lee Munson, security researcher at Comparitech, added: “When it comes to smartphones, many owners forget that their devices pack an awful lot of computing power into a small footprint and that they can be compromised in similar ways to desktops and laptops.
“The flaw in the Samsung Galaxy 7 reiterates this issue succinctly as it is vulnerable to the Meltdown flaw and, as such, could potentially lead to millions of devices being taken over by hackers.
“With no known cases of exploitation, S7 owners should not panic, but they would be well-advised to install all security patches and operating system updates as soon as they become available.”
A Samsung spokesperson said: “Samsung takes security very seriously and our products and services are designed with security as a priority.” He declined to reveal how many of the phones were vulnerable and confirmed no devices had been actually hacked.
– © The Daily Telegraph