Samsung Galaxy S III and Other Phones Apparently Vulnerable to Drive-By Nuking

By Sam Gibbs on at

Looks like Samsung's universal reset code, which restores phones to factory settings, nuking all your apps and data while its at it, can do its thing while hidden in a URL or QR code. Watch what you click on folks, it could wipe your Samsung Android phone instantly.

One of the USSD, or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, codes forces the phone into a factory reset when typed into the dialler. But it's been found that you can get several Samsung phones, all running Touchwiz, to do it direct from a URL or QR code too, without the user having to do anything but tap a link. Check out the rather long demo video above to see precisely what happens, or try the code yourself below*.

Now, it's unlikely you'll fall victim to this, unless your friends are complete bastards and send you a QR code or something, but it might be prudent to make a quick backup of your stock Samsung Android phone. Oh, and switch off using the stock browser, because apparently it'll only work if you're using the goods Samsung provides out of the box -- I can hear Chrome calling. [Twitter, YouTube]

*This should wipe your phone, so don't blame us if you lose everything, OK?