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Security flaw found in Samsung Galaxy SIII

27 Sep 2012

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Samsung's Galaxy SIII is making waves in the news recently, when a security flaw has been highlighted involving Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes has been uncovered.

Security researcher Ravi Borgaonkar used the above-mentioned mobile phone model to demonstrate that a flaw in the USSD code structure can be used by hackers to remotely reset mobile phones back to their original settings, consequently wiping out every bit of data from the handset. The flaw apparently affects most Samsung smartphones using the TouchWiz interface.

GSM cell phones use the USSD protocol to communicate with their carriers' computers, usually for WAP browsing, mobile payments, prepaid call-back services, etc. Malicious websites could lead the handsets to believe that a USSD code has been dialled into it by using this flaw.

Samsung's smartphones are not the only ones affected by this flaw, as the protocol is a generic issue in all Android smartphones such as Motorola and HTC. However, Samsung has reportedly already addressed this issue by releasing TouchWiz updates. Unit owners are advised to update their smartphones' firmware or contact their handset manufacturers for details on how to fix this flaw.

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