HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – You can’t personally eliminate the vulnerability in you Galaxy phone. You can, however, understand what it means for you.
Over at F1 Solutions in Huntsville, they make it their business to eliminate as many vulnerabilities as possible. Senior Tech Troy McCartney notes that with even a single bad line of code, “The attacker can use the opportunity to get their software onto your phone when your phone checks for updates.”
He adds it could give them a terrifying amount of control over your device, saying, “Once they get in, they can do things like access sensors on your phone like the keyboard, the microphone,GPS, camera.”
However, there’s an important distinction to make here. A vulnerability has been detected, not a hack. McCartney elaborates, “The vulnerability means the window is unlocked. The hack is when they’re coming through the unlocked window.”
To actually execute the hack, someone would have to camp out on a Wi-Fi hub, identify your device when you connect to it, and catch your phone asking the network for an update.
So his number one recommendation? Don’t use public Wi-Fi.
He continues, “Things like Starbucks. If there’s a bunch of other people there using the wireless, you don’t really know what those people are doing. You don’t know if they’re sniffing the traffic. I mean, wireless is just wide open.”
It’s not just Samsung users who should heed that advice.
Hackers can wreak all kinds of havoc through Wi-Fi, even without a known vulnerability.
McCartney adds, “They can pretend to be the wireless access point, the part that your computer is communicating with to get to the internet. If they can pretend to be that, then they can pass your traffic on to the real access point, and then sniff out everything in between. It’s called a man-in-the-middle attack.”
Even at home, he recommends you take precautions, “You want to keep a password on your home Wi-Fi network, because if not, someone could be sitting on your network, sniffing out your traffic, listening to what you’re doing on the internet.”
You know how much you put into your phone. You don’t want it all exposed.
So watch where you connect.