Samsung Unleashes Security Fix for Hack on Galaxy S III

September 28, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Samsung Galaxy SIII users where having a panic attack when it was reported that a simple code could wipe out the entire handset. A simple USSD code that could be sent from a malicious website, or pushed to the handset via NFC or triggered through a QR code can reset the Galaxy S III or other Samsung Android smartphones.

The Korean company has calmed down its customers that a fix is in place. The company has patched in place a security fix for the Galaxy S III and it can be found under Software Update feature in Settings.

The hack was detailed by Ravi Borgaonkar during the Ekoparty security conference. The worst part of the hack is that it can happen without warning and the user can see the process taking place but is unable to stop it; there’s reportedly an option in the payload that could destroy your SIM card too.

Apparently, only Samsung handsets that run TouchWiz are vulnerable. Basic Android smartphones only show the QR code in the dialer screen, but do not run it automatically.

As of now, apart from Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II, the Galaxy Beam, S Advanced and the Galaxy Ace are also affected. Currently, Samsung has patched the fix on Galaxy S III.

The only way right now is to disable the automatic site-loading from QR scans and NFC reader software, and use safe surfing habits. A tweet from TeamAndIRC has reported that the firmware isn’t vulnerable on the AT&T i747 on andthe  i9300, which is the European Galaxy S III.

AT&T is reported to have sealed the hack last week, although Samsung hasn’t commented on that. The Korean company also hasn’t confirmed when the other smartphones would be receiving their patch.

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