SAN JOSE, CA - If you own a cell phone, you take a certain risk that your private info could be made public.
If you're a Samsung Galaxy user, your phone might be among the estimated 600 hundred million phones impacted by a reported security flaw in the Swiftkey keyboard. That's the technology behind the word predictions when you're sending a text message.
According to Ryan Welton, a mobile security researcher at NowSecure, a bug in the pre-installed swift keyboard software could allow a hacker to listen to conversations and access your camera, microphone, and photos; all while knowing your exact location from the phone's GPS.
Seems no different than some terms you have to agree with in order to install some apps. However, unlike an app, the keyboard can't be disabled or uninstalled.
The models reportedly at risk, Samsung's Galaxy S3, S4, the S4 Mini, S5, and the S6.
If Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile is your carrier, you may want to watch what you put on those phones. Those are the companies that seem to be more vulnerable when combined with the Samsung models.
One way to reduce your risk is to avoid using insecure WiFi networks. Samsung does have security patches for cell phone users, just call your provider to find out about security updates.
Sounds like the next big thing for impacted users could be a new phone.