Samsung released Galaxy S3 security fix

Samsung's security fix for the Galaxy S3 still leaves other Exynos 4-based smartphones and tablets vulnerable

4 Jan 2013
Samsung Galaxy S3

The Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone is finally receiving a fix for the security flaw revealed last month, with patches for other affected products to follow in due course.

The security flaw, discovered late last year, affects all Android devices based on Samsung's Exynos 4 system-on-chip processor models Exynos 4210 and Exynos 4412 including the Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. The flaw also affects Samsung's flagship Galaxy S3 smartphone, and it's a serious one: using a bug in the design of the system attackers are able to monitor and make telephone calls, read text messages, and even activate the phone's camera and microphone for remote observation.

Although third-party patches exist to fix the flaw, many cause the camera - access to which is provided through the same mechanism as the security vulnerability itself - to cease working on certain handsets.

Thankfully, there is light at the end of the tunnel with Samsung launching the first in a series of fixes for its flaw-affected devices. Appearing on the Galaxy S3, the patch - available to UK S3 owners now through the in-built system update or via Samsung's Kies tool - closes the security hole while still leaving the camera fully operational.

Samsung has not, sadly, offered a timescale for when the patch will be available for its other Exynos 4-based smartphones and tablets, all of which suffer from the self-same flaw - but should the roll-out for the Galaxy S3 prove successful in fixing the problem without introducing too many more of its own, it seems likely that the company would be looking to patch its other devices sooner, rather than later.

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