Samsung has introduced a new security feature for its Galaxy range of smartphones and tablets to protect users against “zero-click” cyberattacks disguised as image attachments in messages. Zero-click attacks, which install spyware and other malicious code onto devices without any interaction from the owner, have become increasingly common over the last few years. These attacks are difficult to detect and can leave little trace, leaving victims unaware that their device has been compromised.
The new security feature, called Message Guard, can help prevent these attacks before they occur. It automatically quarantines and neutralizes potential threats concealed within image files before they can cause any harm. When a Galaxy device receives a text message with an image attachment, Message Guard isolates the image file from the rest of the device and scans it before processing it to ensure it cannot infect the device.
Message Guard works on Samsung Messages and Messages by Google and will eventually be made available to undisclosed third-party messaging apps via a software update “at a later date.” The feature runs silently in the background and does not require activation by the user.
Samsung claims that its Message Guard feature is capable of detecting zero-click attacks disguised as PNG, JPG/JPEG, GIF, ICO, WEBP, BMP, and WBMP format image files, which are commonly used in messaging apps. The feature has been released on the Galaxy S23 series phones, which are available to purchase from February 17th, 2023. Samsung plans to roll out the feature to other Galaxy smartphones and tablets running One UI 5.1 or higher later this year.
Zero-click attacks have become a growing concern for smartphone and tablet users, as they can infect devices with spyware or other malicious code without any user interaction. These attacks can be used to monitor a user’s activity, steal data or credentials, or take control of the device.
While some security measures like end-to-end encrypted messaging can help protect users, they can also make zero-click attacks more difficult to detect. Samsung’s new Message Guard feature is designed to protect users from these attacks, providing an added layer of security to its smartphones.