Google’s Project Zero team has identified 11 security flaws in Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge, a flagship Android handset. The bugs could enable hackers to take advantage of the phone’s user and even remotely take over the phone.
Most of the security bugs have however been fixed since Google notified Samsung of the flaws, but some still remain to be addressed. Owned by Google, the flaws could significantly weaken Android as a major Google’s operating system.
"There is definitely a tension between Google and the handset manufacturers because Google wants to protect its Android brand, and when it comes to security, Android has been quite tarnished," said Dr. Steven Murdoch, a security researcher at University College London. "Some of that is down to the extra software that handset manufacturers add."
Samsung revealed it has fixed eight of the bugs, and that the remaining three will be fixed through security updates by the time this month is over. According to the electronics company, it is crucial for them to maintain the trust of customers because this is top priority.
Google's Project Zero team’s job is to hunt out previously unknown computer security flaws and then bring them to the attention of phone manufacturers so that they can be rectified.
"Over the course of a week, we found a total of 11 issues with a serious security impact," Google said via a blog post. "The majority of these issues were fixed on the device we tested via an OTA [over the air] update within 90 days. It is promising that the highest severity issues were fixed and updated on-device in a reasonable timeframe."
The flaw could help hackers to forward the owners’ messages to their own server accounts. A second flaw enables hackers to change the settings of the phone’s photo-viewing app after sending a coded image. And there is yet a third that had to do with a directory traversal bug inside a wi-fi feature within the device.
"If someone provided malicious data to the software, they could then change other files on the system and interfere with other functions, in particular security functions," said Dr. Murdoch.
Most of these faults have however been fixed last month via a security update by Samsung, and a spokesman notes that "Samsung encourages users to keep their software and apps updated at all times."
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