screenshot of phone doing through a factory reset stage

Featured: Samsung Galaxy S3 and S2 Have a Security Vulnerability that Could Factory Reset Your Device

September 25, 2012 - Written By Christina Gardner

 

Image Credit: Android Central

How would you feel if I told you that all it would take is one visit to a webpage and all your data and apps GONE?! I would happen to be very upset, however I have plenty of backups, and my stuff synced to the “cloud.” For some though, it can be quite a different story and they may not have things like phone numbers and certain data that be recovered once the phone is wiped and that my friends, can be a very frustrating and sad thing to happen.

Sadly, I must report that there IS such a Vulnerability within the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy S II. It was first discovered by “security expert Ravi Borgaonka” at conference. He found that a certain webpage contained a  line of malicious code. Yes folks that is right, ONE LINE!! This line of code than triggers a factory reset almost immediately and it doesn’t let the  owner of the device know either, it just resets! Scary thoughts? I sure would hope you are having some, especially if you are an owner of a Samsung Galaxy S III or S II.  You are not given an option to cancel this should it happen to your device, which can lead a person to all kinds of stress and frustration.

It is also a possibility that this could make your SIM card inoperable. They have started some testing on devices in certain Carriers. Verizon’s S3 seemed to pass the test and was not affected, but they were able to manage to replicate the reset using a “similar” code in a hyperlink. Firmware are starting to be updated as AT&T has finished updating their’s.

Phones that are running STOCK Android do not seem to be affected by this attack set out for users. It would be apparent that a hacker is having a mighty good laugh right about now.  The way the hacker set this malicious code up is by USSD, which “are special combinations of characters that can be entered in the keypad to perform certain functions.” It just so happens that Samsung devices use USSD to factory reset.

Owners of the devices are encouraged to get their phones to the updated firmware otherwise you could potentially lose everything including your SIM card. That would make for a very “un-wanted” user.  If you are  not sure if you are at risk to this “hack” I suggest possibly getting in contact with your carrier and asking if they know of any information pertaining to this. Most of us out there I’m sure are capable of getting our hands on the firmware ourselves, but for those who are not so tech savvy those would be my suggestions.  This is no joke, and could render your phone useless until you are able to get a new SIM card, not to mention loss of contacts and data if not they haven’t been saved.

 

Sources: Android Central