Today we take a look at the first major software update of the year for the Samsung Galaxy smartphone line. This update was announced by Samsung as part of the monthly security update program, which will be announced as Galaxy S, Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Note and a variety of business models. This is part of the reason why, if you are a user of a Samsung phone that does not normally buy an S or a Note, it might be time to consider a change. *
How do I update my Samsung phone?
Open Settings and scroll to the end (almost) of the end of the list and look for System Updates. Touch System Updates, then search and touch “Check for system updates.” If there is no software update available, you will have the latest update or want to check again later in the week to see if the update was made available to you. Sometimes it takes a while to reach all phones, don’t worry!
January 2020 Security Maintenance Version (SMR)
The package released in January 2020 includes patches from both Samsung and Google, for specific hardware models and for Android in general. While it is almost always a good idea to accept software updates from the manufacturer of your smartphone, especially security updates, let’s take a quick look at some vulnerabilities that this update patched, just to see why we want this package.
Samsung listed 17 specific elements of “Samsung Vulnerabilities and Exposures (EVS)” in its January 2020 security software update. That’s 17, not including the patches provided by Google. The vulnerability fixes provided by Google included 35 patches for January alone, plus a couple more that were not applicable to Samsung devices.
The list below includes the titles of a set of vulnerabilities patched by the January 2020 security update provided by Samsung for Android smartphones made by Samsung.
January 2020 vulnerabilities patched for Samsung Android devices
• Brute force attack on the screen lock password
• The improperly aligned size check leads to buffer overflow in the secure boot loader
• Battery overflow in the kperfmon controller
• Battery overflow in the display controller
• Caching data leak in the Gallery
• Battery overflow in the baseband
• Loss of kernel stack address
• FRP derivation with AppTray
While there are a total of 17 vulnerabilities patched by Samsung in this most recent update, not all of them were listed by Samsung in the software update notes. This is completely normal when it is important that there is a solution on as many devices as possible before potential malicious users can exploit those users who have not yet received such a patch.
The phone model dictates the regularity of update
* Samsung has a security software update program that runs at different intervals depending on the phone model. If you have a higher-priced phone, that generally means that you will receive updates more frequently than Samsung’s wide variety of lower-priced hardware. The exception to this rule seems to be on devices specified as business models.
Samsung Galaxy S models currently receiving “monthly security updates” from Samsung are: Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 +, Galaxy S8 Active, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 +, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 +, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 5G. Samsung also includes the Galaxy Fold on the same list as its Galaxy S devices set for monthly updates.
Samsung includes the following Galaxy Note devices among which they currently receive monthly security updates: Galaxy Note8, Galaxy Note9, Galaxy Note10, Galaxy Note10 5G, Galaxy Note10 +, Galaxy Note10 + 5G. The only other Galaxy Note device that is still in the scope of Samsung’s security support is the Samsung Galaxy Note FE, which appears on a list of “regular security updates” from Samsung, which means from time to time, such Once a year.
Business models in the monthly collection of Samsung security updates include: Galaxy A5 (2017), Galaxy A8 (2018), Galaxy A50, Galaxy XCover4s, Galaxy XCover FieldPro. Recent Samsung tablets and a wide variety of Galaxy A, J and M models appear in the list of quarterly security updates.