Dear Samsung mobe owners: It may leak your private pics to randoms

Bundled messages app caught emitting photo albums at 2am without permission, say punters

Samsung's Messages app bundled with the South Korean giant's latest smartphones and tablets may silently send people's private photos to random contacts, it is claimed.

An unlucky bunch of Sammy phone fans – including owners of Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 8 gadgets – have complained on Reddit and the official support forums that the application texted their snaps without permission.

One person said the app sent their photo albums to their girlfriend at 2.30am without them knowing – there was no trace of the transfer on the phone, although it showed up in their T-Mobile US account. The pictures, like the recipients, are seemingly picked at random from handheld's contacts, and the messages do not appear in the application's sent box. The seemingly misbehaving app is the default messaging tool on Samsung's Android devices.

"Last night around 2:30am, my phone sent [my girlfriend] my entire photo gallery over text but there was no record of it on my messages app," complained one confused Galaxy S9+ owner. "However, there was record of it [in my] T-Mobile logs."

Another S9+ punter chipped in: "Oddly enough, my wife's phone did that last night, and mine did it the night before. I think it has something to do with the Samsung SMS app being updated from the Galaxy Store. When her phone texted me her gallery, it didn't show up on her end – and vice versa."

Some assumed it was a problem specific to T-Mobile US, connected in some way to the cell network's recent Rich Communications Services update, however, T-Mob has denied any involvement, and the photo-spaffing bug was spotted affecting folks on other carriers, such as AT&T, it is claimed.

Samsung is said to be aware of the complaints, which surfaced last week, and is investigating. El Reg asked the chaebol for any explanation, and will let you know if we hear more.

“We are aware of the reports regarding this matter and our technical teams are looking into it," a spokesperson told us. "Concerned customers are encouraged to contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG.”

If you're using Samsung's Messages software, and are worried about unapproved picture texts, find the application in the apps section of your device's settings, then go into its permissions, and disable access to storage. And, in any case, use something like Signal instead. ®

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