A patch is starting to be released to Samsung users in the United Kingdom due to a vulnerability found in the company’s Galaxy S3 device. The patch targets users with the Exynos 4 processor and will eventually be distributed to other users in various locations; however as of now, it’s unclear when. Meanwhile, other third-party security providers released similar patches to address the issue.
“There's still no word of when the company will release this fix to other devices and additional regions,” Engadget elaborated in a recent statement.
The new vulnerability has “exposed user data,” leaving phones open “to attacks that could potentially cripple” them, according to NBC. It also means the vulnerability could lead to smartphones getting “hacked,” according to another recent report. Even more, a malicious app could take “complete control” over the device's RAM, Android Central warned.
“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 was quoted as saying by Android Central. “Samsung will continue to closely monitor the situation until the software fix has been made available to all affected mobile devices.”
While the vulnerability was discovered Dec. 16, it has taken a few weeks for the patch to become distributed in the United Kingdom alone.
Even worse, it’s apparently not just a problem for the Galaxy S3; the vulnerability is possible on the Galaxy S 2, the Galaxy Note 2, the Meizu MX, and other devices with an Exynos processor, according to The Next Web. A variety of news reports also similarly cite possible vulnerabilities on the Galaxy S2 GT-I9100, Galaxy S3 GT-I9300, Galaxy S3 LTE GT-I9305, Galaxy Note GT-N7000, Galaxy Note 2 GT-N7100, Galaxy Note 2 SCH-I605 (with locked bootloaders), Galaxy Note 10.1 GT-N8000 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 GT-N8010.
The news about Samsung led to many comments posted on the Web. For instance, one blogger, wonkman, said on Android Central, “Yikes, now I'm suddenly glad I don't have the Exynos S3 (Hugs Verizon S3).”