There’s a problem with Samsung’s Exynos chips that power its own smartphones and tablets, which the company is working quickly to fix. Last week, it was found that Samsung’s silicon — the Exynos 4210 and 4412, in particular - could allow for the device to be exploited by remotely providing admin access to the device. At that point, a malware app could be programmed to gather data from the phone or actually add data or other apps. On Wednesday, Samsung made a statement to Android Central, saying it was working on a fix.
Here’s the statement in full:
“Samsung is aware of the potential security issue related to the Exynos processor and plans to provide a software update to address it as quickly as possible.
The issue may arise only when a malicious application is operated on the affected devices; however, this does not affect most devices operating credible and authenticated applications.
Samsung will continue to closely monitor the situation until the software fix has been made available to all affected mobile devices.”
The important thing to note is worth reiterating, and I say this as a full-time Android user: Stick to apps in the Google Play store. Yes, malware has found its way there from time to time, but it’s safer than side-loading (installing an app with a direct .apk file) software from an unknown source.
Regardless of which devices are potentially open to this vulnerability — and the range includes certain Galaxy S 2, S3 and Note 2 handsets — it’s good to see Samsung take action quickly. And although here in the U.S. carriers can slow down the update process, I suspect the software fix for this will move rather fast through the update channel once its ready.