A major vulnerability in the keyboard software that comes bundled with Samsung phones has left as many as 600 million Samsung smartphone owners at risk of hacking according to a research by NowSecure. The vulnerability poses a potential threat by providing access to your phone’s camera, read text messages, install apps and use the microphone to listen to what you’re up to. Really creepy how hackers to snoop around your phone right?

Samsung keyboard

The threat comes from the default Samsung keyboard, part of which is supplied by the third party keyboard maker SwiftKey. This however does not affect the standalone keyboard app SwiftKey. According to swiftkey, the vulnerability in question is not easy to exploit: a user must be connected to a compromised network (such as a spoofed public Wi-Fi network), where a hacker with the right tools has specifically intended to gain access to their device. This access is then only possible if the user’s keyboard is conducting a language update at that specific time, while connected to the compromised network.

NowSecure found that as of June 16, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Mini smartphones are all vulnerable to the attack, this however is not an exclusive list of models impacted by the threat.

How to ensure you’re protected;

  • Install the latest updates from your carrier.

Check for software updates and install any new security policy updates if prompted by your device or if you own any of the listed models. Samsung says the functionality of the phone won’t be affected thanks to its inbuilt Knox software. We, however advise you to install the latest updates to be secure. To do this, go to Settings > Security > Security policy updates, and check that the ‘Automatic Updates’ option is activated. This may vary across the devices. Also click ‘Check for updates’ to manually retrieve any new security policy updates.

  • Stay away from public networks where a potential hacker might be waiting to snoop on your device.

Watch the creepy hack in action below

Be sure you update your device.