Firmware

Samsung monthly updates: March 2021 patch focuses on Exynos 990

Samsung today published the full security bulletin detailing the March 2021 update for its Android devices. The changelog revealed the Exynos 990 was a large focus of the company’s software support efforts this past month. More specifically, the security patch level dated March 1st tackles three vulnerabilities exclusive to last year’s chip, internally called the Exynos 9830.

There are 16 other fixes from Samsung on board, without accounting for Google’s own patches. A handful of newly resolved issues concerned improper data exposure such as notification screen leaks and unprotected clipboard contents being shared across apps in an irresponsible manner.

Why kernel panic is no reason to panic

Two of the three Exynos 990-specific vulnerabilities have been classified as high-severity threats, whereas the final one is a curious case of the so-called “kernel panic” caused by a format mismatch during video conversion. By definition, kernel panic errors tend to be difficult for systems to recover from instantaneously, but this one apparently wasn’t a priority target due to being extremely difficult to reproduce.

In any case, add those to the list of grudges to hold against the Exynos 990. The remainder of the security patch isn’t as thematically consistent as the one from last month, which tackled MitM attacks, was. You can read through the full changelog on the Samsung Mobile Security website.

The March 2021 security update has been rolling out to select Galaxy devices since last week. Given the timing of this release, some Samsung smartphones and tablets might be getting it bundled with One UI 3.1.

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