Samsung Galaxy S9 sending users private pictures to people

Samsung users in the U.S. are reporting that their phones are sending text messages with attachments from their photo gallery to random contacts without explicit permission. The problem turned up on Reddit, spotted by Gizmodo, and then found its way to Samsung's official forums.

"Last night around 2:30 a.m., my phone sent her my entire photo gallery over text but there was no record of it on my messages app". The Samsung Messages app doesn't show any sign of sending the photos, meaning the user is completely unaware of the picture messaging. There was a record of the message in that person's phone carrier logs, but not within the app. He wrote that the app was sending scheduled messages early, that some messages were ending up in wrong threads.

While it's not clear what is causing the random picture messaging, affected users reported receiving an update to the default text messaging app on their Samsung smartphones that enables Rich Communication Services (RCS). This is exactly what some Samsung devices are doing as reported by a number of different users online. RCS improves the legacy SMS protocol with additional features such as read reports, media sharing and more.

As initially reported by Gizmodo, the problem seems to be happening on Samsung Galaxy Note 8, S9 and S9+ models that use T-Mobile as their carrier.

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Samsung said: "We are aware of the reports regarding this matter and our technical teams are looking into it". El Reg asked the chaebol for any explanation, and will let you know if we hear more.

For now, it is recommended that users do not update to the latest Samsung Messages app until Samsung fixes the issues.

Concerned users should ensure that Samsung Message does not have permission to access their phone's storage, which will prevent it from being able to send anything on the phone.

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