Tech

Pre-installed apps on Samsung devices have been caught spying

samsung preinstalled apps bugs

Samsung smartphones boast a wide range of pre-installed apps that have recently been caught spying. The South Korean tech behemoth has been working on patching vulnerabilities that affect its mobile devices that can be used to keep a watch on the user.

It is even more alarming to know that these vulnerabilities can be used to take complete control of the system. One security researcher discovered this set of bugs via Samsung’s bug bounty program.

A lot of things have happened this week as far as vulnerability flaws and security updates are concerned. Aside from one of the biggest data leaks been discovered online, an urgent patch was rolled out to fix serious issues on Google Chrome.

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Why does Samsung need to update its smartphones’ security? Much to the chagrin of those using Samsung smartphones, KimKomando has revealed in its latest report that there are seven hidden flaws in the company’s default, pre-installed apps.

These apps have been strategically been hidden by a mobile security startup company. Earlier this year, the popular handset maker had to deal with a different flaw.

According to some security researchers, a few Galaxy Note 20 devices could have been unlocked using any fingerprint for the purpose of authentication. Samsung was able to fix that flaw in time.

Hackers can access and edit your text messages, calls, and even contacts using the aforesaid flaws.

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You will be vulnerable to attack unless you update your Samsung device. However, Samsung did not reveal which devices were affected, claiming it happened only “selected” models.

Cybercriminals can easily breach an unpatched device and install malicious apps with administrator rights and change the device’s default settings. In its blog post, Oversecure said that: “These vulnerabilities could have led to a GDPR violation, and we are delighted that we could help Samsung identify and fix these vulnerabilities in a timely manner.”

One of the flaws was found on Samsung’s Knox app. It’s a proprietary security framework pre-installed on most Samsung devices. The breach was designated as CVE-2021-25388 and could trigger the installation of “arbitrary apps and device-wide theft of arbitrary files.” In other words, all your files could be stolen.

It is imperative for you to update your Samsung device. Here’s how.

  • Swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen
  • Tap on the Settings icon
  • Swipe to and then tap Software update or System updates
  • Tap Download and install, or Check for system updates.

It will start downloading. You may need to tap on Download now on some devices. When the download is complete, you can follow the on-screen instructions to install the update.

To set your device to download updates automatically, all you need to do is to tap the Auto-download over the Wi-Fi switch. Samsung hasn’t divulged a lot of details about the discovered flaws.

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