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600 million smartphones are wide open to hackers

600 million smartphones are wide open to hackers
Zeynep Demir / Shutterstock.com

Samsung Galaxy owners beware! The popular Android smartphones are vulnerable to hackers due to a critical keyboard flaw that could let cybercriminals install scary malware. The flaw lets intruders listen to your phone calls, read your text messages and track your GPS location. This is a huge issue that affects over 600 million S4, S5 and S6 Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

According to security company NowSecure, the flaw is within the Samsung Galaxy's keyboard that's powered by the SwiftKey app. The standalone SwiftKey app for Android and iOS gadgets isn't affected by the bug.

A spokesperson for SwiftKey said your SwiftKey app is safe.

"For clarity, this issue does not affect SwiftKey’s consumer keyboard applications on Google Play or the Apple App Store, and we are absolutely committed to maintaining world-class standards in security and privacy practices for our users."

Hackers can take advantage of the flaw by accessing affected phones over unsecured Wi-Fi networks and other Internet connections.

"Fully remote attacks are also feasible via DNS Hijacking, packet injection, a rogue router or ISP, etc."

Translation: clever snoops can break into your phone over Wi-Fi without you ever knowing it.

Samsung is creating a patch to correct the flaw. The company will provide the fix to your cell service provider, who can then pass it along to you. Make sure you install the patch immediately when you receive it.

Until the patch is available, affected Samsung Galaxy owners should not connect to unsecured Wi-Fi networks with their smartphones, because that's how hackers can exploit the flaw.

The spokesperson said the risk is low.

"The vulnerability in question poses a low risk – 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."

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Source: Express
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