Samsung Android smartphones with huge security hole
17 December 2012 by Olav Hellesø-Knutsen
A critical security hole has been found in many of the latest Android smartphones from Samsung such as the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II and Note 2. The vulnerability allows any installed app to gain root access
The security hole was found and announced this weekend by a member of the XDA community. The security vulnerability allows installed apps to gain direct access to all physical memory on many of Samsung's best-selling Android devices. The vulnerability affect Samsung devices powered by the 4210 and 4412 Exynos system chip. Some of the possibly affected devices are Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 7, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Tab, Meizu MX, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note 10.1, Lenovo K860 and Galaxy Note II. These are all powered by the Exynos 4 Dual or Exynos 5 Quad SoC.
The vulnerability allows any app to access any data as root meaning all data on the phone will be available to the app. Samsung has not made any official statement about the issue, so you will not find any solution to the problem there. But a temporarily path has been release by another XDA member. This fix will make the camera app unusable, so it might not be the solution for everyone.
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There's already a patch to fix this that does not require root access:
and Samsung are investigating it: