Samsung phones on high-risk security alert; Indian government asks users to update their handsets | Mobile News

Samsung phones on high-risk security alert; Indian government asks users to update their handsets

Samsung phones are on high-risk security alert after the Indian government sent a warning to users about some critical security risks. It has urged immediate update of handsets.

By: MD IJAJ KHAN
| Updated on: Dec 15 2023, 12:40 IST
Samsung Galaxy A34 5G quick review: Premium vibes
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1/10 Samsung Galaxy A34 Design: With a minimalistic approach, Samsung has done an excellent job of replicating the latest premium Galaxy S23-like design on a mid-range smartphone. Plus, Galaxy A34 gets IP67 water and resistance ratings.  (Divya / HT Tech)
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2/10 Samsung Galaxy A34 Display: It has a 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate which manages to bring vibrant colours, deep blacks, and wide viewing angles. Well, a major letdown is the teardrop notch and thick bezels. (Divya / HT Tech)
critical security risks
3/10 Samsung Galaxy A34 Performance: The phone packs the MediaTek Dimensity 1080 chipset, capable of handling a wide range of tasks effortlessly. It smoothly ran graphics-heavy games like Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty: Mobile at medium settings, even for gaming. (Divya / HT Tech)
critical security risks
4/10 Samsung Galaxy A34 software: It comes with OneUI 5.1 based on Android 13 out-of-the-box. The Galaxy A34 offers a smooth and efficient user experience with quick app loading times. However, there are some pre-installed apps, which can be uninstalled, if needed. (Divya / HT Tech)
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5/10 Samsung Galaxy A34 Cameras: It boasts a 48MP + 8MP + 5MP triple camera setup. In daylight, it captures images with abundant detail and contrast with a slight colour boost. Portraits are one of its strengths with near to accurate edge detection. While it still has room for improvement in low-light conditions.  (Divya / HT Tech)
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6/10 Samsung Galaxy A34 selfie camera: With a 13MP front camera, it captures detailed and true-to-life photos in natural light. However, under artificial lighting or at night, some noise may be present. (Divya / HT Tech)
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7/10 Samsung Galaxy A34 Battery: With the 5000mAh battery, it can easily survive more than a day. Another limitation is the 25W charging speed, which takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes to fuel up the phone from 0-100%.  (Divya / HT Tech)
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8/10 Samsung Galaxy A34 sound and connectivity: It gets stereo speakers which have support for Dolby Atmos offering loud and clear sound. However, you will not find any 3.5mm audio jack. The 5G connectivity has been satisfactory too, you will get good internet speed and the absence of call drops.  (Divya / HT Tech)
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9/10 Verdict: At Rs. 30999, the Samsung Galaxy A34 comes with 4 Years of OS Updates, overall satisfactory performance, decent cameras, and good battery life – it has definitely emerged as a great option to consider.  (Divya / HT Tech)
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10/10 However, some letdowns such as outdated dew-drop display and slow charging are some factors that you should consider before going with Galaxy A34. (Divya / HT Tech)
critical security risks
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Indian government warns that Samsung smartphones are on high-risk for security vulnerability and that users must update their system for Android versions 11 to 14. (AP)

Samsung phones are on a high-risk security alert! The Indian government has issued a critical alert to users of Samsung smartphones across the country, urging them to swiftly update their handsets in response to identified security vulnerabilities. The advisory, issued by the Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) highlights a threat to Samsung devices operating on Android versions 11, 12, 13, and 14. These vulnerabilities, if exploited, could potentially allow unauthorised access to sensitive data on these devices.

CERT-In has categorised the risk as high, emphasising that attackers may exploit these vulnerabilities to circumvent security measures, access confidential information, and execute unauthorised code on targeted systems. The identified vulnerabilities pose a potential threat to various components within the Samsung ecosystem.

Detailed Analysis and Potential Consequences

The detailed analysis by the government's cybersecurity team reveals a range of potential issues, including improper access control in Knox features, integer overflow flaws in facial recognition software, authorization concerns with the AR Emoji app, mishandling of errors in Knox security software, and multiple memory corruption vulnerabilities in different system components. Additionally, the vulnerabilities extend to issues like incorrect data size verification in the softsimd library, unvalidated user input in the Smart Clip app, and the hijacking of specific app interactions in contacts.

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If an attacker successfully exploits these vulnerabilities, the consequences could be severe. The official statement outlines potential outcomes, including triggering heap overflow and stack-based buffer overflow, accessing the device SIM PIN, sending broadcasts with elevated privilege, reading sandbox data of AR Emoji, bypassing Knox Guard lock by altering system time, accessing arbitrary files, gaining entry to sensitive information, executing arbitrary code, and compromising the targeted system.

Importantly, the affected Samsung Mobile Android versions include 11, 12, 13, and 14. Devices at risk encompass popular models such as the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, and more.

To mitigate the risks associated with these vulnerabilities, users are strongly advised to take the following measures:

1. Apply security updates promptly.

2. Keep apps up to date.

3. Exercise caution when installing apps.

4. Be vigilant when clicking on links.

This urgent advisory aims to safeguard Samsung users from potential security threats and emphasises the importance of proactive measures to secure their devices.

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First Published Date: 14 Dec, 18:22 IST
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