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Some Exynos SoCs expose users to dangerous hack

Google, Samsung and Vivo smartphones are affected

20.Mar.23 7:47 AM
By Abigail Richards


Some Exynos SoCs expose users to dangerous hack
A number of smartphone models from Samsung, Google and the Chinese manufacturer Vivo can be controled remotely. Google warned on Friday. Attackers only need the victim's phone number to hack the smartphone.

Google security researchers discovered a total of eighteen security problems. Four of them are very serious, the researchers warn. Malicious people can exploit the security holes to take over phones remotely, without the user noticing.

The security holes are in certain Exynos processors from Samsung. They are used in devices from the Google Pixel 6 and 7 smartphone series, as well as, for example, in the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy A53. Those Samsung models have sold millions of copies worldwide.

Google itself has already released a security update for its Pixel smartphones. Samsung, according to the tech giant, has not yet done so. Despite this, Google has decided to make information about the security problems public. The tech company says it fears that ill-wishers will quickly discover and exploit the leak without users of the affected phones knowing.
Samsung releases security updates

According to Google, even without a security update, users of affected smartphones can quite easily protect themselves from misuse of the security leaks. To do this, they must disable voice over LTE (VoLTE, calling via the 4G network) and voice over wifi (VoWiFi, calling via Wi-Fi networks) in the settings of their phone. On Samsung phones, this can also be done via the Settings Buttons in the notification bar.

Of the eighteen security leaks found by Google, Six may affect its Galaxy smartphones, according to Samsung. The phone manufacturer states that none of these leaks are "serious".

"We released security updates for five of these vulnerabilities in March," a Samsung spokesman said. "In april, another update will be released to fix the remaining vulnerability."

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