Samsung rolls out Exynos patch to Galaxy S3 handsets

Samsung rolls out Exynos patch to Galaxy S3 handsets

Summary: Samsung has started rolling out a fix for Galaxy SIII handsets that closes a vulnerability that would allow a malicious app access to crucial parts of the operating system, according to reports.


Samsung has started rolling out an update for Galaxy S3 handsets that fixes the vulnerability with the Exynos processor that potentially left a handset open to hackers.

The update started rolling out to Galaxy S3 devices in the UK on Wednesday, according to Samsung community fan site SamMobile. Samsung had not responded to a request for confirmation or further information at the time of writing.

The vulnerability bypassed system permissions on the kernel and allowed an attacker with enough determination to access various aspects of the phone, such as anything stored in RAM and camera-related features.

SamMobile also suggested that the update (I9300XXELLA) could also provide a fix for other issues such as a 'sudden death' firmware problem. This is also unconfirmed by Samsung.

While this is good news for Galaxy S3 owners, the vulnerability affects other devices using the Exynos 4210 or 4412 processors, such as some versions of the Note, Note II and Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.  

The company acknowledged the potential security problems presented by the vulnerability in a statement on 20 December, promising that it would be addressed "as quickly as possible" and that a fix would be rolled out to "all affected mobile devices".

Topics: Security, Mobility, Samsung, Smartphones, United Kingdom

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • How is Samsung rolling out the update?

    I know a few people who have a Samsung Galaxy SIII (not me). One or two, are Not too computer literate, but, they enjoy the phone. Don't think they know Anything about a security problem; Or that it has a fix.
    Is the update just going to Auto-fix, without user interaction, or does the owner have to go to a specific on-phone menu to get/install the update?
    • Updates to the SIII

      are by user notification and permission to update by touching the "Update" icon, usually. You can set the phone to automatically apply critical updates or all updates, but "All" is not recommended.
  • Where was I

    when the sudden death problem was announced? Sounds dramatic but this is the first I've heard of it.
    Little Old Man
  • Correct me if I'm wrong

    But US and Canada users (LTE users) probably don't need to worry about the SIII, because ours don't use the Exynos CPU - it wasn't available with LTE when the SIII was released.