Samsung has been making chips for a long time, and while they’re not better performance-wise than Qualcomm ones, they’re mostly okay. Security flaws have, however, just been found in Samsung-made chips, and severe ones at that.
Google’s Project Zero reported a total of eighteen zero-day vulnerabilities in Exynos modems made by Samsung between late 2022 and early 2023. The four most severe ones can allow for Internet-to-baseband remote code execution, letting malicious actors compromise a smartphone with no input required from a user — all a hacker needs is a user’s phone number. The fourteen other ones also allow for remote code execution, but aren’t as severe, as they need either a complicit carrier or physical access to the device.
These vulnerabilities affect a wide range of devices, particularly, Samsung smartphones powered by Exynos chips, such as the European model of the Galaxy S22. Thankfully, Samsung decided to drop the use of Exynos this year, so newer phones like the Galaxy S23 aren’t affected. However, Google’s latest Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 smartphones are affected, since they’re powered by Samsung-made chips (the Google Tensor SoCs are designed and made by Samsung and are pretty much just Exynos variants).
As of the time of writing, no fix is available for any of these issues, so in the meantime, you should turn off things like VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling if you don’t want to be affected.
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