BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – A report from the Ekoparty security conference suggests that some Samsung Galaxy devices, including the S III, S II, Beam, Ace and others are susceptible to a malicious code that could completely destroy the data and SIM card in the phone.
The hack was explained by Ravi Bargaonkar at the conference. He illustrated that a simple USSD code sent to the Samsung phones could reset them. This code could be sent through a web page, NFC or read from a QR code. Unfortunately, users cannot interrupt the process even after seeing it on their phones, as it does not stop.
Only handsets with TouchWIZ are said to be affected by this, however, the Android devicedoes not dial the code, it is Samsung’s default function that runs the code in the dialler automatically.
As of now, security researchers recommend users to deactivate automatic site-loading in QR and/or NFC reader software, and to stop clicking on links that may not be trustworthy.
Samsung has not issued any statement, although it is claimed that updates to AT&T and European Samsung Galaxy S IIIs have already patched the loophole.