Samsung Electronics Co. will upgrade security software on its smartphones, including the Galaxy S6, to plug a vulnerability to hackers.
More than 600 million Samsung devices are at risk of being spied on because of flaws in how the SwiftKey application is updated, according to consultant NowSecure. Samsung will make upgrades of its Knox security software in a few days to eliminate the risks, the company said in an e-mail on Thursday.
SwiftKey, which predicts words and emoticons when a user is typing, comes with many Samsung devices and can also be downloaded at Google Inc. and Apple Inc. online stores. The security risk exists on Galaxy devices even if the app isn’t being used as the default keyboard, NowSecure said.
Samsung said all Galaxy models since the S4 that was released in 2013 are embedded with Knox. The upgrade will be available for download to users of all those models, it said. It didn’t comment on plans for older models.
SwiftKey is taking the issue seriously and working with Samsung to ensure a patch is available as soon as possible, Jennifer Kutz, a spokeswoman for the company, said by e-mail.
“The vulnerability in question is not easy to exploit,’ she said.