Samsung messaging app causes chaos among users, sends their pictures to random contacts

Samsung messaging app causes chaos among users, sends their pictures to random contacts
Reports from Samsung phone users emerged, stating that pictures have been sent from their phones to seemingly random contacts, without their permission.

Users on the social media site Reddit learned about the unusual behavior of their devices, only thanks to the recipient of the images, since the software left no trace of the file transfer being made. How many people received private photos, without alerting the owner, is unknown. If the scale of this problem is large enough, it might open Samsung to lawsuits due to breach of privacy. In some cases, entire galleries were sent via MMS, which can lead to some serious trouble for some individuals.

The mostly likely cause for the problem is a recent update to Samsung Messages, the default texting app for Samsung phones. The update was meant to improve its capabilities by switching from the existing SMS protocol to the more capable RCS (Rich Communication Services). Miscommunication between the app and the new protocol must be triggering the bug. How and when that happens, is still unclear, but it is not limited to a specific carrier, as customers of both T-Mobile and AT&T have experienced this new "feature". The most common devices mentioned in the reports are the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ and Galaxy Note 8, so if you have an older device, you might be in the clear, but don't bet on it.

Samsung is aware of the issue and its engineers are working to find the source and the solution to the problem. Until then, there are two easy fixes for the concerned users:

1. Go to the settings menu that handles apps' permissions and deny Samsung Messages' access to your storage. This, however, will also prevent you from willingly sending photos through the app.

2. Switch your default texting app to a different one. You will have full texting capabilities and you don't have to look back, in case Samsung lost your trust forever.

Either way, you should probably stick to your solution for at least a week after a new update with a fix is released, just to be sure everything is working properly. We know we would.

source: Reddit via Neowin

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31 Comments

1. imlegitcusimthasht

Posts: 306; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

good thing Samsung apps updates are separately from the whole firmware. Surely they'll have a fix soon since it isn't going to come through as a firmware update

3. Zylam

Posts: 1813; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Imagine if it was an Android issue, oh wow that would have been something. 80%+ of the Androids phones would have never been fixed.

9. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Samsung is the best phone company in the world (according to Samsung trolls) LOL

11. Zylam

Posts: 1813; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

LOL Where are those people now man, let's invite them over for some family fun time. LOLOLOL.

12. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

entire gallery sent by MMS... i bet some phones were hot as hell trying to resize that small ass file size limit

4. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

This is the second article about this issue on this site. Really milking it, aren't ya PhoneArena? The last one was only 5 days ago.https://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-Messages-bug_id106154 I'm actually a part of the subreddit that this is from, and since Reddit anecdotes is the only proof of this thing occuring, it seems it is completely confined to the American Carrier versions, specifically T-mobile and AT&T versions. International or unlocked users have nothing to worry about, as the carriers haven't had their hands in that software.

7. cmdacos

Posts: 4110; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

In Canada, in Samsung Members there has been some discussion on the news but no one indicating they have or know anyone affected. Could be isolated as you noted. Wonder if it has to do with their implementation of RCS.

18. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

No d*x jokes when it's Samsung? Garbage

14. aegislash

Posts: 1476; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Two articles is hardly *milking* it. And besides, this is PA...we should be used to this by now. Authors are constantly posting an article that someone else posted about previously, because they don't even look at their own site.

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Not good Samsung...not good at all.

10. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

How can that be good? It's horrendous! It's treasonous! It's literary pathetic!

13. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

switch to textra... best text app, hopefully they incorporate RCS messaging

17. aegislash

Posts: 1476; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Piyath, perhaps if you pulled your head out of your own a** for once and actually read his comment, you'd see that he clearly said not good...twice, even!

23. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I don’t even bother responding to him anymore bro. It’s too much of a headache, and it’s also useless. I guess he forgot about all the celebrities pictures comprised, due to the iMessage fiasco.

33. Leo_MC

Posts: 7216; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

There was no "iMessage fiasco", there was an iCloud one generated by easy passwords and the lack of extra protection by Apple.

15. MobileNico

Posts: 94; Member since: Aug 26, 2012

Could Samsung's marketing budget really extend as far as paid commenters? Sure starting to look like it in here... Also just download Android Messages. Because, you know, it works and won't send nudes to your boss.

16. aegislash

Posts: 1476; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

I don't care if it is only two carriers this is happening with...it's still completely unacceptable. I myself have a T-Mo Note8, but use Textra, because Samsung's stock messaging app is incredibly ugly and severely lacking in customization. So I don't have to worry about this issue.

19. apple-rulz

Posts: 2026; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Where is Samsungnewbie and papaj and harkun and all the other true believers to tout this latest Samsung innovation?

21. aegislash

Posts: 1476; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Honestly at this point I am 100% certain that Samsungnewbie is not actually a Samsung fan, but rather a troll mocking Samsung users...I mean, I recently saw him claim that Samsung invented touchscreen phones ffs. Surely nobody takes him seriously.

22. apple-rulz

Posts: 2026; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Yes I have to agree, still for him/she/it not to take this opportunity to defend/credit Samsung for this is a bit baffling.

24. aegislash

Posts: 1476; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Well, Techie's here trying to brush it off like nothing...doesn't that somewhat count? ;)

29. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

How am i brushing it off like nothing? I'm saying that software has issues, and this time around it seems to be Samsung's turn. Are you going to act like IOS 11 was fiddled with software issues as well? Furthermore, the only source for this claim is a subreddit. The issue seems completely confined to AT&T and T-mobile users, according to that subreddit, so if you don't belong to that group, then you're fine. It much be a result of the carriers doing something to the software while implementing RCS to the messaging app. If it wasn't, then it would happen for unlocked and international versions as well, but it hasn't. That's the truth, it's not brushing it off like nothing. Unlike fanboys, i'm acknowledging the problem and investigating how widespread it is, in order to provide info to people.

20. nodes

Posts: 1158; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

disabled Samsung Message and switched to Google's.

25. Junito

Posts: 144; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

The beauty of Android. About four years ago I had this hapoen to me. For whatever reason, the app decided to send pictures to all my contacts. It was not fun

26. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

When an OEM duplicate everything an OS has already in place because they want to almost take credit for that effort too, s**t like this happens. Good grief. Too many cooks in the kitchen, not enough waiters.

31. M.O.A.B

Posts: 319; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

looks like all of those ifans here taking trash about samsung forgot about the icloud disaster, may i remind you :) ??

34. nodes

Posts: 1158; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

do you even know about the iCloud case?

36. M.O.A.B

Posts: 319; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

Oopsie you got me there smartass ! Yes i know about it and while it was a completely different scenario, it lead to the same result, the leakage of private photos.

35. Sparkxster

Posts: 1213; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

I don't use Samsung Messages since there are better alternatives in the play store.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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