Samsung users may have been surprised when contacts reply to a message they didn’t send in the first place – because apparently a bug has made some Samsung default text apps send random images to random contacts. Just what transpired with this bug?
You know you’ve got a working smartphone when your text messaging application is capable of sending pictures to your friends and other contacts. However, if your photos are being sent by your smartphone without your knowledge, then you may have a big problem in your hands.
Unfortunately, there were a number of complaints on the official forums of Samsung and Reddit that seem to confirm these concerning issues. It seems a number of Samsung phone owners appear to notice their Samsung Galaxy S9 and Note 8’s messaging applications have been sending random photos to various contacts.
According to reports of their users, the problem has come from the default texting application on Galaxy devices. The application, called Samsung Messages, has been sending pictures on the devices as an error via SMS to random contacts. One Reddit poster even claimed that Samsung Messages sent their entire photo gallery – not just one photo – to one contact in the middle of the evening.
Thankfully, for that person, the random pictures were sent to their partner as its “random” contact. However, for others that had photos sent to more sensitive people like their bosses or business partners, the bug has given others even a simple peek into the private life of various individuals.
What’s perhaps most alarming about this situation is that the bug doesn’t leave any trace that Samsung Messages has sent photos to random contacts. This means you’d only know this has happened to you if it’s too late, which can be quite the alarming realization.
While this has yet to be fully resolved, one of the earliest theories about the issue is that there might be a weird interaction between the RCS profile updates courtesy of carriers such as T-Mobile and Samsung Messages itself. The point of RCS or Rich Communication Services is to further push the outdated protocol of SMS with better features such as read receipts, typing indicators, and even media sharing. Perhaps the issue now is how Samsung Messages is handling the messages the new RCS protocol has started to implement.
When asked for comment, Samsung has told users that they’re currently aware of the issue, and that their teams are looking into the matter at hand. Concerned consumers of Samsung products are highly advised to call them directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG. When T-Mobile was reached for comment, they also pointed users back to Samsung, saying it’s really a problem with the Samsung Messages application.
Meanwhile, for users concerned that their phones may really be sending private photos to random people, there are mainly two fixes that are thought of regarding the issue. First is to go to your Samsung phone settings and remove its access to your storage. This at least makes sure Messages will not be able to send anything – like photos – stored in your device to users whether you want to or not.
Another option is to switch to a different messaging application such as Textra and Android Messages, which don’t seem to show signs of being affected by the bug that afflicted Samsung Messages, so far anyway.
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