Samsung Admits Rogue Alert Resulted In Data Breach

Samsung has provided a bit more detail about the rogue alert that was sent last week to thousands of its smartphones around the world.

Samsung UK last week admitted it had unintentionally sent a message when it was carrying out ‘internal testing’, and it was only received by a ‘limited number’ of people around the world.

But now it seems that rather than just a testing slip up, the rogue notification actually resulted in something more serious, namely a data breach.

Data breach

Last week after the rogue alert went out, a number of readers contacted the Register and said that after they had received the alert, their devices also displayed personal data belonging to strangers.

It is not clear what type of personal data was revealed.

Samsung told the Register that less than 150 customers could see other people’s data, and it was contacting them directly.

“A technical error resulted in a small number of users being able to access the details of another user,” the spokeswoman told the Register. “As soon as we became of aware of the incident, we removed the ability to log in to the store on our website until the issue was fixed.”

Samsung’s Find My Mobile service allows owners of Samsung devices to remotely locate or lock their smartphone or tablet.

Customers can also use the feature to back up data to the Samsung Cloud, as well as delete local data, and block access to Samsung Pay.

But the Find my Mobile is an app that is pre-installed on all Android distributions from Samsung.

It is reported that while users can disable the app, they cannot uninstall these types of pre-installed apps, unless a third party operating system is installed.

A number of worried Samsung users, thinking they had been hacked after the rogue alert, reported;y began changing passwords just in case.

Other alerts

Samsung isn’t the first smartphone maker to send out notifications to a wide audience.

According to the Verge, last year OnePlus accidentally blasted its users with garbled text and Chinese characters in what turned out to be a failed internal test for a software update.

Samsung had recently launched its brand new range of mobile devices that included its expected folding flip phone, as well as a new range of flagship 5G smartphones.

Quiz: Think you know all about Samsung?

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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