Those of you who have compromising photos in the gallery of their Samsung device might want to delete them, as it seems that Samsung Messages has gone rogue because of a bug, and it's sending photos to contacts without permission. Based on user reports, the latest version of Samsung Messages is having some kind of a glitch and it's severely violating the privacy of Samsung device owners. Photos that should be private may no longer be private, and you don't get to choose who you share them with – you might not even be aware. The disturbing bug doesn't seem to affect a specific model of device or a certain carrier, which means that it can affect any Samsung smartphone.
Samsung device owners affected by this bug have taken to Reddit to report on the issue. One user says that his entire photo gallery was sent to his girlfriend in the middle of the night, with no action whatsoever on their part. Others have chimed in the conversation and confirmed that it happened to them too, and it seems that it affects users on at least two different carrier. In one case, the Samsung device just sent three photos to three contacts, one photo each, which had been sent before. In other cases, people were not as lucky and got their entire gallery sent out. The Samsung Messages app reportedly shows no record of such occurrences, but they are reflected in carrier logs. So far, people affected by this issue said they were using the Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 Plus, and Galaxy Note 8, on T-Mobile or AT&T, but the bug is likely carrier- and device-agnostic.
With no official word from Samsung just yet, users suggest disabling the storage permissions for Samsung Messages for the time being, which will prevent the app from accessing photos from the gallery. To do so, users have to access their device's Settings > Apps > Samsung Messages > Permissions > Storage. Disabling storage permissions, however, affects the Samsung Messages app and how it works, and it will just keep asking for permissions each time you open a thread. Alternately, if it's just an issue stemming from Samsung Messages and not the Samsung Gallery app, switching to Android Messages might do the trick.