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MediaTek SoC exploit makes Galaxy phones vulnerable to eavesdropping


Last updated: November 25th, 2021 at 15:07 UTC+02:00

A cyber security firm uncovered a security vulnerability that affects MediaTek chipsets, which, in turn, means that it affects roughly 40% of all smartphones in the world. This includes a handful of Galaxy mobile devices released in 2020 and later, but thankfully, a fix is already being provided.

For a bit of background on the recent vulnerability, every modern MediaTek SoC contains an AI processing unit (APU) and a digital signal processor (DSP). After reverse-engineering the audio DSP firmware, Check Point Research found a vulnerability that, when exploited, allows an attacker to hide malicious code and listen in on user conversations.

There are a handful of Samsung devices that feature a MediaTek chipset and are technically vulnerable to these exploits. The list includes the Galaxy A31, Galaxy A41, Galaxy A03s, Galaxy A12, Galaxy A22, Galaxy A32, Galaxy M22, and the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite.

The October 2021 security patch should address this vulnerability

Fortunately for Samsung customers who are using Galaxy smartphone or tablet powered by MediaTek, the chipmaker is aware of the vulnerability. Not only that, but it has already addressed it last month, according to its October security bulletin.

Samsung’s recent security patches don’t seem to mention this vulnerability, though details could be missing for security reasons. But in theory, the fix for this MediaTek SoC vulnerability should already be included in Samsung’s October security patch. The aforementioned Galaxy A and Galaxy M phones have already received the October and/or the November 2021 security update, and the good news continues, as the vulnerability doesn’t seem to have been discovered by malicious parties before MediaTek addressed it.

If you use one of the Galaxy devices listed above, make sure it runs the latest security patch just to be on the safe side. You can refer to our firmware section, where you can check which security patch is available for your device in your region.

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Via 1 Via 2 Phone Galaxy A03sGalaxy A12Galaxy A22Galaxy A31Galaxy A32Galaxy A41Galaxy M22Galaxy Tab A7 LiteMediaTek
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