The Samsung Galaxy S23 may now be one of the most secure smartphones around after the company released a new security tool that aims to protect users from zero-click attacks: those that don't require a victim's input.
The new Message Guard service will be available only on Samsung Galaxy S23 devices for now, covering threats seen in Samsung Messages and Messages by Google.
Images in zero-click exploits contain malicious code that, on receipt, give the attackers access to the device. It's so surreptitious that, in theory, the victim could be asleep when the image is received, and all their data could be exfiltrated by the time they wake up in the morning.
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Samsung Message Guard
In a blog post (opens in new tab) announcing Message Guard , Samsung noted such attacks have already been uncovered in the Apple ecosystem, when threat actors managed to compromise an endpoint by simply sending an image via SMS.
While there's currently no evidence of such attacks being perpetrated on Android devices, Samsung believes that a pre-emptive strike is best.
Explaining how the feature works, Samsung described Message Guard as an “advanced ‘sandbox’, or a kind of virtual quarantine.
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“When an image file arrives, it is trapped and isolated from the rest of the device," Samsung explained. "This prevents malicious code from accessing your phone’s files or interacting with its operating system."
"Samsung Message Guard checks the file bit by bit and processes it in a controlled environment to ensure it cannot infect the rest of your device,” Samsung explained.
The feature is turned on by default on all Samsung Galaxy S23 devices, so no interaction by the users is required. Samsung also said that the feature runs “silently and largely invisibly in the background”.
The company confirmed that the feature will make it to older Samsung phones (all models sporting One UI 5.1 or higher), as well as other text messaging apps later in 2023.
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