Samsung’s Galaxy S3 may be the year’s ‘best smartphone’, but it’s also open to malware attacks amid discovery of a rather serious security vulnerability.
Unearthed by XDA member alephzain, the hole exists in the kernel of the S3’s Exynos processor, offering full read/write access to all physical memory, which as you might be quite justly afraid of, can be exploited by hackers to gain sensitive information stored on the device or even render it an expensive paperweight.
Alephzain explains the root of the S3 can be accessed without flashing its ROM, which is good for an enhanced scope for customisation. However, the downside is there’s no control over it and consequently exposes the handset to malware.
Worse still, the exploit likely affects all Exynos 4210 and 4412 handsets, including the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note 2 – which account for a vast number of users, many of whom may not even realise if they’ve downloaded malicious applications.
Samsung has yet to comment on the revelation, but will no doubt be expect to address it soon with a patch that curtails such unfettered access to the physical memory and limit it only to essential, native/proprietary apps.