What you need to know
- Samsung Message Guard is a new means of protection against phishing attacks.
- It works by neutralizing image files (with malicious code) sent by cybercriminals through texts.
- It will support Galaxy devices using Samsung Messages and Messages by Google apps.
Samsung has just announced Message Guard, a new way it intends to protect users from advanced threats that they may not even notice. The Korean tech giant has announced that it is bringing this new feature to its latest phones to tackle zero-click exploits, which apparently are the "latest kind of cyberattack."
The process of the attack involves cybercriminals sending malicious code through an image in text messages or third-party messaging app services. Such procedures have been witnessed earlier through emails, and it has found new means to exploit Android smartphone users.
Samsung explains that this attack can be so sophisticated that once the person receives the image, it can read their messages, browse galleries, and copy confidential details, amongst others, without the person even touching the phone.
"Zero-click exploits are just the latest threat in an era of increased cybercrime targeting user data," Samsung notes in the announcement blog post. "One in three consumers around the world has been the victim of a data breach where their personal data was hacked. Data breaches are increasingly common, with rates more than tripling between 2013 and 2021."
The company further assures its Samsung Galaxy phones are already safe with its existing Samsung Knox platform, which protects users from malicious video and audio files sent by attackers. The new Samsung Message Guard, however, takes the safety experience one step further by shielding the device from suspicious image attachments, giving users comprehensive protection.
Samsung compares Message Guard to a virtual quarantine, isolating received images from the rest of the phone so that it can check for potential threats and keep your device from being infected. All this happens silently in the background, so you don't have to do anything.
Samsung Message Guard will support protection from malicious code received from PNG, JPG/JPEG, GIF, ICO, WEBP, BMP, and WBMP image formats.
Samsung says this level of protection will be available for Samsung Messages and Google Messages. The current Galaxy S23 series will be the first to benefit from this new level of protection, while other Galaxy smartphones and tablets (running One UI 5.1 and higher) will receive the Message Guard protection later in the year through an OTA update.
Samsung says it will further roll out a software update to its devices later to let Message Guard protect users from threats received via third-party messaging apps, which might include WhatsApp or Telegram.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the latest iteration of the once great Note series. It comes with a built-in S Pen, the latest Snapdragon chipset, and a large, curved OLED display, making it great for productivity and entertainment. And for the photographers out there, there are plenty of pixels to take advantage of with its 200MP camera.
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.