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Samsung confirms hack: is your TV or smartphone at risk?

Samsung Galxy S22 Plus in Pink Gold
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung has been hacked. The Korean giant confirmed this week that hackers had stolen the source code for the firm's popular Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

"We were recently made aware that there was a security breach relating to certain internal company data," Samsung said in a statement to SamMobile. "Immediately after discovering the incident, we strengthened our security system."

The Lapsus$ hacker group claimed responsibility for the digital heist, which saw them make off with 190GB of data including the source code for Samsung's Knox, which protects things like passwords, biometrics data, and your payment information. 

The ill-gotten haul is also said to have included the bootloader source code for all recent Samsung devices, plus the source code for Trusted Apps and TrustZone, both of which, somewhat ironically, help to keep the firm's Tizen TV OS free from bugs and malicious software.

Samsung says that no customer or employee data was affected but experts are concerned. Lapsus$, which typically steals data and then offers to return it in exchange for a large sum of money, does not appear to have demanded a ransom. Instead, it seems to have shared parts of the code online.

So, how worried should Samsung TV and smartphone users be?

Chris Vaughan, from infosec firm Tanium, told The Register: "Some specific parts of the code that have been leaked are key security components... this could make cracking and breaking into phones easier. I expect attackers to test if biometric security controls such as fingerprint and face ID can be bypassed."

In other words, Vaughan believes your privacy could be at risk. Although, the operative word is "could". There is currently no evidence that Samsung users have been impacted by the data theft, and the company has promised to "continue to serve our customers without disruption".

If you are worried, the best way to keep on top of cyber threats is to use secure passwords and keep all of your operating systems up to date by installing the latest software as soon as updates become available.

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Tom is a journalist, copywriter and content designer based in the UK. He has written articles for T3, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Elle Deco, The Sunday Times, Men's Health, Mr Porter, Oracle and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile technology, electric vehicles and video streaming.