News of Samsung mobile security issue spreads with threat to millions

The vulnerability that has been identified in some of the tech companies handsets could affect up to 600 million.

The mobile security news involving a flaw in many Samsung smartphones is spreading around the globe as estimates have stated that this issue could impact as many as 600 million people worldwide.

The mobile technology flaw could potentially allow Samsung Galaxy users to be spied upon by hackers.

The phones that could be impacted by the mobile security issue include the Samsung Galaxy S4, S4 Mini, S5 and S6. It comes in the form of a vulnerability that could make it possible for hackers to gain access to the microphone and camera on the device and to spy on users.

According to Buster Johnson of the National Association of Counties Cyber Security Task Force Team, “Hackers will basically be able to take control of a person’s cell phone and have the possibility of accessing a person’s personal information stored on their phone, which could include bank account passwords and other sensitive data.”

This suggests that the mobile security flaw could place users at a greater threat than just their privacy.

Mobile Security Threats on the RiseData and identity theft as well as financial issues could also be thrown into the mix if the wrong information is accessed by the wrong people.

The smartphone security flaw was first identified by researcher Ryan Welton of NowSecure, back in 2014. Shortly thereafter, the security teams at both Google Android and at Samsung were notified of the problem.

The NowSecure blog includes a post from Welton that explained that the source of the vulnerability is in the Swift keyboard, which is pre-installed on the majority of Samsung devices. It is not possible for a user to disable or uninstall it, and its updates occur automatically on their own or when the device has been rebooted.

The mobile security problem comes into play when that update occurs, because the method of fetching the update is not secure if a hacker has access to the network traffic of the device user, for instance, in the case of a public WiFi hotspot. The attacker could use that unsecure network to pose as a server for Swiftkey and then exploit the update, executing a code that would give the hacker privileged user access to the device.

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