Multiple Samsung smartphone models have started sending photos to contacts, out of the blue, without having any permission to do so.
Smartphone problems are becoming more and more present, this time multiple images have been sent to contacts without users being aware having any clue left in the Samsung Messages app after the action was done. For example, one Samsung owner claimed his smartphone have sent the entire photo gallery to his girlfriend during the night and, another reported that various pictures had been sent to multiple contacts.
The most affected Samsung devices are the latest Galaxy S9 and S9+, but there are suspicions that many other models are affected by this scandalous bug too. For the moment the cause of this issue and how photographs are sent to contacts are tow big unknowns.
Companies and individual people must take certain precautions against this growing phenomenon of privacy-threatening bugs; they should implement at least a cybersecurity solution, like an antivirus, to protect their systems. Necessary things like regularly updating operating systems and other firmware, using an antivirus for Windows, an antivirus for Mac, or an antivirus for Android, depending on which OS your device is using. Companies must also hire professional cybersecurity firms to do regular checkups to their internal network a couple of times per year. These checkups must always include a penetration test and various ethical hacking test.
Interesting is the fact that the story reports seem to coincide with US network T-Mobile turning on the Google-backed Rich Communication Services (RCS), which represent the replacement for SMS text messaging service. For now, Rich Communication Services are gradually being enabled only by a handful of networks for certain smartphones.
The bug seems to have started after the Messages app was recently updated, but for now, nobody can tell for sure if these two events are related because the issue of auto photo sending goes back as far as May.
If we are looking at T-Mobile’s schedule, the things become even more unclear because the RCS update has only been activated for the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge and not for the S9 or S9+. Given that users are reporting other problems too when sending SMS messages after the update, the most plausible explanation makes the app update responsible for this big privacy problem, regardless of whether it has anything to do with the RCS activation.
This is what you need to do in order to be safe until this bug is patched:
Turn off the Messages app’s access to storage and camera in Settings > Apps > Permissions or use a third-party message app and set it as the default for the time being.
Frustratingly is that the only one statement came from Samsung so far:
“We are aware of the reports regarding this matter and our technical teams are looking into it. Concerned customers are encouraged to contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG.”
A friendly reminder: every device represents a network entry point or a valuable data bank that must be protected by at least cybersecurity solution like an antivirus. Depending on which OS your machine is running, install an antivirus for Windows, an antivirus for Mac, or an antivirus for Android for total protection. Companies must take an extra step and hire a professional cybersecurity firm that will run various cybersecurity tests on your company’s network to implement only the best possible cybersecurity solution. Always opt for a package that includes at least a penetration test and ethical hacking test. For companies that exist 100% online, we recommend the using of cyber-secured web hosting services.