Metro Tech Reporter
Hackers are able to wipe data off the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S2 smartphones by using a hidden code in web pages that triggers a factory reset of the device, according to a researcher.
The malicious code will delete any saved music, contacts, photos and other items, says Ravi Borgaonkar, who is a researcher working at Technische Universität Berlin.
The program, which contains 11 digits and symbols, can be concealed in text messages and web browsers, according to Mr Borgaonkar.
The researcher has demonstrated how the malicious program could be embedded in internet HTML code and then wipe data off the handset of anyone that visited a site.
The code is thought to be circulating online and also affects other Samsung devices that use the firm’s specially converted Android mobile operating system.
It does not affect gadgets from other manufacturers that use Android, according to Mr Borgaonkar.
‘It’s possible to exploit this attack only on Samsung devices,’ he said.
Samsung has been urged to deal with the issue as quickly as possible through a software update, with experts worried the problem could effect a high number of users.
Rik Ferguson, director at computer security firm Trend Micro said: ‘If I were in Samsung’s shoes, I would absolutely want my engineers looking at this and coming up with a patch as soon as possible.’