Samsung Phones Are Sending Users’ Private Photos Unknowingly

Samsung Galaxy S10 Concept Credit: Mobil-Helden
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Smartphone users probably don’t want their personal photos being sent out at random. But unfortunately for some Samsung users, that may be exactly what’s happening.

According to a slew of reports on Reddit, there appears to be a new bug in Samsung’s native Messages app that causes photos to be sent to a user’s contacts without that user’s input — and without any evidence on the user’s device that it had even happened.

Thus far, the bug has been reported on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Note 8 devices. But there’s evidence that it could be more widespread than that.

While some impacted users report that only previously sent photos are resent, others indicate that the entire content of their photo galleries is inadvertently shared with contacts.

A Reddit user explained that some Samsung devices “have been sporadically sending the entire contents of one’s gallery to a contact via SMS, and it doesn’t show up on your side.”

Another Redditor said his Samsung device sent his girlfriend his “entire photo gallery over text,” but added that there was “no record of it on my messages app.”

Both users indicated that evidence of the sent photos did show up in carrier logs. So if you’re a Samsung user, it might be worth keeping an eye on those carrier logs.

The bug seems to affect Samsung devices regardless of carrier, so it isn’t an ISP-specific phenomenon.

Most reports agree that the bug was probably introduced in the newest update to Samsung’s Messages app. It goes without saying that you should probably hold off on updating if you haven’t already.

Others recommend that you should disable storage permissions for Samsung Messages. That means you won’t be able to attach photos to messages yourself, but it could prevent the bug from secretly sending off your entire gallery to a contact.

It isn’t clear whether Samsung is currently aware of the bug. The company has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

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