We specifically choose landscapes and photos of our relatives or others with our smartphones these days and for most of us, the little computer in our pockets is actually our main camera.
Sending pictures to others is one of the most basic functions of a smartphone, that too, with verification and permission, but when your phone’s texting app starts randomly pushing out photos without your knowledge, you got a big problem.
That’s something Samsung phones are doing now, without your permission, the phone’s messaging application is sending out private photos to others into the wild.
According to a smattering of complaints on Reddit and the official Samsung forums, it seems that’s exactly what happened to a handful of Samsung phone owners, including users of late model devices such as the Galaxy Note 8 and new Galaxy S9.
Yes, there are several other ways to share images with third-parties. ShareIT for example, but unfortunately, if you’re an owner of some Samsung devices it’s possible that this is exactly going viral and you might not even know about it.
If user reports are anything to go by, the problem stems from Samsung Messages, the default texting app on Galaxy devices, which is erroneously sending pictures stored on the device to random contacts via SMS. A number of users have been reporting that they have been receiving unsolicited images via an as-yet-unknown delivery method.
It seems the messages do appear to have been sent out via the Samsung Messages app, but it’s unclear whether SMS or MMS is being used. Some say it could be a bug in Samsung’s default texting app which is sending random photos to other contacts with no action being taken to instigate that by either party.
Samsung is aware of this issue and suggested that impacted users should reach out to Samsung directly via a toll-free 1-800-SAMSUNG. Impacted phones appear to generally be the S9 and S9+, although there may be other Galaxy devices.
The reports say, the Messages app does not even show users the files have been sent: many just find out after they get a response from the recipient of the random photos sent to them. The official forums indicate that Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are affected, moreover, this may not be the only ones afflicted with the bug.
There are other users speculating that this issue has to do with the push of RCS messaging updates, including T-Mobile, which is a carrier for at least one of the affected phones. The stock messaging standard is supposed to make texting look more like chatting in a modern messaging app, complete with reading recipients and typing indicators. Predictably, however, T-Mobile is pointing the finger squarely at Samsung saying that users should “check in with Samsung on this, it’s not a T-Mobile issue.”
For now, Samsung owners can revoke Samsung Message’s permissions to access storage to avoid the bug from sending their files out in the wild.
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