Samsung remote reset exploit fixed for the Galaxy S III

Yesterday we reported that the Samsung Galaxy S III, alongside a number of other TouchWiz devices, is vulnerable to an exploit that can remotely factory reset a user's smartphone through a USSD TEL code. This USSD TEL code could be triggered through malicious code in a website or WAP push SMS, wiping your phone without any prompts to intervene.

Today Samsung confirmed that the remote reset exploit has "already been resolved" in the latest software update, suggesting that if you currently have the latest software version you are safe from a malicious wipe. Here's the full statement:

We would like to assure our customers that the recent security issue concerning the GALAXY S III has already been resolved through a software update. We recommend all GALAXY S III customers to download the latest software update, which can be done quickly and easily via the Over-The-Air (OTA) service.

This statement doesn't mention the other devices affected such as the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Beam or Galaxy Ace, suggesting that the vulnerability is still active in the most up-to-date OS versions on these devices. Samsung Belgium has stated via Twitter that a firmware fix is in the works for the Galaxy S II, although there is no mention of a time frame other than it will be an OTA update. We assume something is in the works for the other affected devices as well.

If you do have an affected device that hasn't been patched yet through a software update, there is an app currently available on the Google Play Store that claims to solve the problem. TelStop adds a second option for the phone whenever a USSD TEL code is used, allowing you to select the application rather than the Phone app by default, meaning you can intervene before it's too late. If you have an unpatched TouchWiz device, it's probably best to install it as a precaution.

Source: Android Central | TelStop

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