Zero-Click Attacks Are DOA on Samsung Devices
Zero-click attacks are among the most dangerous cyberattacks in a hacker’s arsenal. The idea a bad actor can infect victims with malware without the victim doing anything at all is deeply concerning. Luckily, companies are fighting back, with Samsung leading the charge on mobile. With a typical phishing attack, a scammer may send you a link through a text message
February 20, 2023
Zero-click attacks are among the most dangerous cyberattacks in a hacker’s arsenal. The idea a bad actor can infect victims with malware without the victim doing anything at all is deeply concerning. Luckily, companies are fighting back, with Samsung leading the charge on mobile.
With a typical phishing attack, a scammer may send you a link through a text message or email, wait for you to click it, then convince you to download the malware to your device. A zero-click attack has no such barrier to entry. With it, all a bad actor needs to do is send the malware to your device, usually attached to something like an image file. That’s it: Once your device receives the message containing the image, it’s already infected. You don’t need to open the message or the image: It’s too late.
That’s why zero-click attacks are so dangerous. The usual list of best practices, such as ignoring links from strangers, don’t work here. If device manufacturers and developers want to protect their users, they need to rethink the game.
That’s where Samsung comes in. The company last week revealed Samsung Message Guard, a new tool for Galaxy devices that aims to end the threat of zero-click attacks once and for all. Message Guard works by isolating incoming image files away from the rest of the device. Message Guard then analyzes the image, looking for any malicious code it may contain. If it’s clean, it’s good to go. However, if any trips the sensors, the OS quarantines the image, so it cannot communicate with any part of your phone.
You can benefit from Message Guard even if you don’t use Samsung Messages. The company built the tool to support Google Messages out of the box, and has plans to add support for third-party chat apps down the line. In the future, no matter which app you use to chat with friends and family on your Galaxy, you’ll have the added protection from zero-click attacks.
Upon release, Samsung Message Guard is only available on the company’s latest suite of smartphones, the Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra. However, Samsung has plans to bring the feature to more Galaxy phones in the future.
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