Samsung has issued BlueBorne security fixes for the European versions of its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones from 2015, and the updates are arriving over the air (OTA). For those unfamiliar with the matter, BlueBorne is a severe Android vulnerability affecting a slew of devices running on Google’s mobile operating system. The vulnerability is particularly dangerous because it exploits a phone’s Bluetooth connection and it can affect a device even if it’s not discoverable or paired with another. Simply put, a device is vulnerable as soon as the Bluetooth radio is tuned on, and the owner might not even notice.
The BlueBorne vulnerability can easily open a device to malicious activity and it could have dire consequences if it's not addressed. Google already handled this issue with the September Android security patch, but not all devices get the latest monthly security patch in due time. Samsung, for its part, has opted to update its devices individually with a BlueBorne vulnerability patch. The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge in Europe are the latest ones to get the security updates – G920FXXU5EQI6 and G925FXXU5EQI6, respectively – as OTA packages. The updates only address the BlueBorne vulnerability, without bringing any new features or changes from the last Security Maintenance Release.
Even if the updates don’t include any other changes and features, it’s highly recommended to install them as soon as they arrive in order to protect the devices against the BlueBorne vulnerability. The patches for the European Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have started rolling out in the Netherlands for now, but should make their way to more European countries soon enough. Users who want to manually check whether the update is available for their device can access the smartphones Settings > About phone > Software update > Download updates manually. Otherwise, waiting for the OTA to become available is always an option and it shouldn’t take long to arrive. Alternately, users who would like to check whether their Android-powered device is vulnerable can also download a special tool called BlueBorne Vulnerability Scanner. The app is pretty easy and straightforward and it will let users know whether their Android device can be exploited through the BlueBorne vulnerability.