The Google team has found vulnerabilities that could put dozens of smartphones at risk: here’s how to best protect your data.
In the first months of 2023 Project Zero, the team of analysts who deal with cybersecurity within Google shared the list of vulnerabilities found in some Exynos modems produced by Samsung. Eighteen identified critical issues that potentially endanger smartphones and users’ data. At the moment, some of these have been resolved with update patches, but in many other cases, the companies have not yet corrected the error, exposing the devices in question.
As a result, all smartphones equipped with vulnerable Samsung Exynos modems become, in turn, vulnerable until the security update is installed. While waiting for the update to arrive, it is still possible to do something to limit the risks in the daily use of the telephone.
Which Devices Are At Risk
The security problems found in Exynos modems make dozens of smartphones vulnerable, potentially exposing them to remote intrusions, which would occur precisely through these security holes. This is a common attack that could compromise devices without the user noticing.
The list needs to be completed and includes only the most popular devices. We must add some wearables from the same manufacturer, also equipped with Exynos modems, even if, in this case, the official list has yet to be provided.
Since the devices produced by Vivo also use the same technology, the list must also include (and not only) the following:
- I live S16
- I live S15
- Vivo S6
- Vivo X70
- Vivo X60
- Vivo X30
Not even Google’s smartphones would be safe, and the criticality would also affect the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7, even if the company has announced that it has released the first correction patches and the next ones are already ready.
Finally, several electric vehicles also use an Exynos chipset, but, in this case, for the technical specifications, you need to check your vehicle’s instruction manual. You should contact the manufacturer immediately if this component is installed on your car. As far as electric cars are concerned, there would still be no useful information to understand at what point the work to correct the critical issues is.
What Are The Dangers?
These vulnerabilities would allow digital attackers to remotely access users’ smartphones to steal personal data and information.
It is important to know that to proceed with the attack in question, the attacker needs to know the telephone number of his victim. Information that, however, can be found quite easily, especially for those who use their contact to register on sites.
Personal data and passwords certainly end up the target of hackers, especially those of social networks, email accounts, and any applications for home banking and the like. Connections with external devices such as Smart TVs, digital radios, voice assistants, and everything associated with your smartphone would also be at risk.
The attack is extremely discreet, and there is no way to tell if your phone is under attack, so cyber security experts recommend the utmost caution.
How To Protect Yourself From Attacks
As mentioned, many companies are intervening to resolve critical issues by releasing various security patches, just like Google did. However, the timing of publication of these fixes varies, and, especially for older devices, it may still take several days (or never arrive if the parent company’s support has ended).
To defend against critical issues, users can turn off Wi-Fi calling and Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) by going to their device’s settings.
The suggestion is also to check often the status of the updates released and install them as soon as possible so that you can use your smartphone in total peace of mind.