Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and S4 have been the object of several security concerns since their release, but software flaws are common in every new technology that hits the market. Human error contributes to security vulnerabilities in Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and many other popular software systems used today. Since humans are far from perfect, there will always be security issues in the operating systems and software applications that we use everyday.
Thankfully, there are always solutions to these vulnerabilities as well. If you’re concerned about the security of your Samsung Galaxy S3 or S4, here are some useful tips and solutions to ensure you are safeguarded against the known vulnerabilities found in many Android devices.
Lock Screen Bypass
The lock screen bypass exploit isn’t a huge security risk, but it becomes one if your Samsung Galaxy smartphone is lost or stolen. Using a key combination or voice command on enabled devices, this exploit allows anyone with physical access to bypass any locking method used on the Galaxy S3 or S4. This exploit has also been confirmed on many other Android devices, but there are several easy ways to address it.
Exynos Kernel Exploit
The Exynos exploit affects international versions of Galaxy smartphones, and some other devices equipped with the Exynos processor chip. U.S. Galaxy S3 owners are not affected by this because U.S. versions contain the Snapdragon processor. Updates have already been released that address this vulnerability on many devices, and those using Exynos devices should stay up-to-date with their carrier’s latest OTA update to guard against this high-risk vulnerability.
Remote USSD Execution Vulnerability
The most recent security issue found in Samsung Galaxy smartphones also affects many other Android phones as well. The USSD exploit allows attackers to execute numerical codes on remote devices via a malicious webpage. It could potentially be used to wipe Android devices remotely, but recent Jellybean updates guard against USSD execution.
A Security Solution for Everyone
The problem with these vulnerabilities is that they are not exclusive to Samsung devices, and they were only publicized due to the extreme popularity of the Galaxy S3 and S4. Users of older Android devices that haven’t received OTA Jellybean updates could still be vulnerable to the lock screen bypass and USSD execution exploit.
If you have the advantage of owning a more recent Android device, then be sure to update it to the most recent Android version available. If you’re still using Ice Cream Sandwich or want an additional level of security, then I’ve found a simple solution for Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 owners. Norton Halt, available on Google Play, addresses all 3 of these vulnerabilities by blocking access to them. Whether you have the most recent updates or not, Norton Halt guards Samsung Galaxy phones against lock screen bypass, Exynos kernel exploit and USSD execution.