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Samsung Galaxy owners have been hit with an urgent warning after experts detected a major security flaw in a number of the models from the popular Android brand, including last year’s S22. Google’s Security team at Project Zero discovered the serious vulnerability, urging millions of smartphone users to take immediate action. Of the 18 security flaws they discovered, Project Zero noted that the four of the most serious vulnerabilities would “allow an attacker to remotely compromise a phone” without interacting with the user.
All that a cybercriminal would need is the victim’s phone number, and their phone would be comprised without them even knowing that anything is wrong.
Project Zero’s Tim Willis explained: “With limited additional research and development, we believe that skilled attackers would be able to quickly create an operational exploit to compromise affected devices silently and remotely.”
The rest of the security flaws, he noted, were not as serious, as they would either require your mobile network operator to act maliciously or would need the hacker to gain local access to the device.
Samsung has been alerted of this problem and has said that they are working on a fix to the issue as they take customer safety seriously.
Until they resolve the glitch completely, however, here’s how you can prevent a hacker from compromising your phone.
Google noted that users who wished to protect themselves against these flaws should go to their device settings and turn off Wi-Fi calling and Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE).
Here’s how to turn off Wi-Fi calling
• Find “Settings” on your device in the menu
• Press the indicator next to “WiFi Calling” to turn off the function if it is on.
• Press the Home key to return to the home screen.
Here is the full list of Samsung Galaxy devices affected:
Google noted that only devices that use Samsung’s own Exynos processor are left vulnerable, not the devices powered by Qualcomm.
Although Samsung’s latest S23 smartphones no longer use Exynos chips, most Galaxy phones launched before this year do.
This includes: Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy M33, Galaxy M13, Galaxy M12, Galaxy A71, Galaxy A53, Galaxy A33, Galaxy A21, Galaxy A13, Galaxy A12 and Galaxy A04 series phones.
If you see your phone on this list, then Google urges you to immediately turn off the WiFi calling and VoLTE.
This comes over a week after Samsung Galaxy owners were urged to install a vital update that resolved more issues, including one so serious that it was given a “Critical” rating.
In total, this latest update resolved 39 bugs from Google and a further 11 flaws that were specifically affecting Samsung devices.
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