Firmware

Samsung monthly updates: February 2021 patch tackles MITM attacks

Samsung today published the complete changelog detailing the February 2021 security update which just started rolling out to the company’s Android smartphones earlier within the last few days. While last month’s security bulletin had a bit of everything, its follow-up appears to be largely oriented toward tackling various man-in-the-middle attacks.

The good news is that none of the newly resolved device hijacking vulnerabilities were rated as critical security flaws. Meaning Samsung doesn’t believe the said attack vectors were easy to exploit, so we can pretty safely rule out the likelihood that they’ve enabled any large-scale shenanigans.

Which Galaxy smartphones are already receiving the February 2021 security update?

But between descriptions of wireless carrier impersonation and even a hijacking vulnerability in its very own email appSamsung’s latest security bulletin makes for a pretty curious read. If nothing else, it’s an effective reminder of how suspenseful the world of cybersecurity can be, with malicious hackers never lagging too far behind researchers.

Curiously, the only vulnerability with a “High” severity classification that Samsung fixed in this release without Google’s input sounds pretty tame compared to MITM hacks. And yet this issue, manifesting itself in the form of a wallpaper service bug, enables local denial-of-service attacks with quite devastating consequences.

The newly released Galaxy S20 series is unsurprisingly a deployment priority for Samsung as all three of the company’s newest flagships have already started receiving the new patch over the weekend, i.e., back in January. The Galaxy Note 20 line followed suit less than 24 hours ago, as did the more modest Galaxy A8 (2018).

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