Archive for Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S8 Iris Scanner Security Pwned By Hackers

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 23, 2017 by itnerd

If you bought a Samsung Galaxy S8 for the security that the iris scanner provided you, then you may have to rethink that decision. Motherboard is reporting that hackers have used a fake iris to bypass the phone’s security:

Despite Samsung stating that a user’s irises are pretty much impossible to copy, a team of hackers has done just that. Using a bare-bones selection of equipment, researchers from the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) show in a video how they managed to bypass the scanner’s protections and unlock the device. “We’ve had iris scanners that could be bypassed using a simple print-out,” Linus Neumann, one of the hackers who appears in the video. The process itself was apparently pretty simple. The hackers took a medium range photo of their subject with a digital camera’s night mode, and printed the infrared image. Then, presumably to give the image some depth, the hackers placed a contact lens on top of the printed picture.And, that’s it. They’re in.

So, why does this work? Here’s my guess. I am guessing that the S8 is only checking for the pattern of the iris and it has no ability to tell if it is a real eye or not. Thus it is easily pwnable.  If any of this sounds familiar, it should. The facial recognition in the S8 can be fooled in the same manner.  And according to Motherboard, the fingerprint scanner has been pwned too. Samsung hasn’t commented on this, but it will be interesting to see what they do to fix this as this was a key selling feature for the phone.


Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8+ Goes On Sale Today

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 21, 2017 by itnerd

Today is the launch day for the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ for those who live in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and Korea. For Canadians specifically, carriers such as Telus are offering up Samsung’s latest offering starting at $250 on a two-year term for the Samsung Galaxy S8, while the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is available at $320 on a two-year term.

Key features of the new flagship Samsung phone include:

  • See the Whole Picture – Infinity Display lets you see more on Samsung’s largest smartphone screen yet.
  • Unlock Your Potential – Protect your phone by using Iris Scan to unlock your device and IP68 water and dust resistance will keep your phone feeling like new.
  • Enhanced Audio Experience – Play Ultra High Quality (UHQ) audio with Samsung’s new AKG-tuned earphones.
  • Leave it to Bixby – Bixby Vision uses the native camera so you can search and buy products, discover nearby attractions and more.

Reviews are starting to trickle in and so far so good for Samsung who are trying to recover from the Note 7 gong show. There’s even a video of it being tested by YouTube star Karl Conrad for how waterproof it is in beer:

One issue has popped up though. People have complained about a red tint on the screen that the company has now committed to fix.

Have you bought the S8 or S8+? If so, what do you think of it? Post a comment below and share your thoughts.


#Fail: Samsung Galaxy S8 Facial Recognition Can Be Pwned Using A Photo

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 3, 2017 by itnerd

The good news is that I am not writing about a phone that is exploding. The bad news is that Samsung who hyped facial recognition as a security feature when they rolled out the Galaxy S8 last week has found that it isn’t a security feature. That’s because the phone can be pwned via a photo. Here’s the video of the pwnage in action:

Samsung has yet to comment on this issue. But if you’re going to get an S8, you do have a few other security options. Such as the old school passcode, plus IRIS scanning and fingerprint scanning. Thus if this makes you the least bit nervous, maybe you should use one of those options instead.

Citrix Converts Samsung Galaxy S8 into Full Desktop

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 29, 2017 by itnerd

As enterprises increasingly embrace mobile business strategies, people continue to carry as many as three devices with them, including laptops, smartphones and tablets. To lighten that electronics load, make people more efficient and help businesses reduce costs, Samsung is introducing Samsung DeX that – when combined with Citrix Receiver – converts the new Samsung Galaxy S8 into a desktop environment that includes an optimized UI for multi-tasking with keyboard and mouse support, resizable window capabilities, task bar pop-up notifications and more.

The combination of Citrix and Samsung DeX unboxes the phone and provides employees with secure access to their digital workspace and all of the business apps and data they need to get their work done. Samsung is exclusively showcasing Citrix in Samsung DeX demos with XenApp and XenDesktop and Citrix Receiver that will be shown to media, customers and analysts during the Samsung Unpacked event today and at the Samsung Enterprise Mobility Analyst Day tomorrow in New York City.

In addition to the preferred solution that combines Citrix innovation with Samsung DeX, Citrix also offers support and integration for Samsung devices that include XenMobile enterprise mobility management, security features and secure virtual access to apps and desktops through XenApp and XenDesktop, and support for Secure Apps with Samsung Knox at the native Android OS layer.

Citrix XenMobile also supports new Samsung capability known as Enterprise Firmware-Over-The-Air (E-FOTA). Samsung E-FOTA enables IT admins to take greater control over when devices get updated, as well as what version is updated. This Samsung capability provides IT with native device control without sacrificing user flexibility.

This unique collaboration between Citrix and Samsung literally lightens the load for organizations and employees while providing greater security and flexibility for people who spend all or part of their day working outside of the office. This solution enhances security and productivity by enabling people to securely use their phone in the field. Then when they are in the office, they can connect to the Samsung DeX, converting their phone into a desktop-like experience without losing any phone capabilities to securely access their apps and data through Citrix Receiver, XenApp and XenDesktop.

For example, insurance claims adjusters can securely use their Samsung Galaxy S8 out in the field assessing claims, and then return to the office, plug into their DeX station and complete reports using a full desktop-like environment. Police officers can use their phones to enter tickets and take notes while on patrol using Citrix Secure Forms, and then return to the station, plug into the DeX station and complete their reports using a fully functional desktop-like environment.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone and Samsung DeX will be available in Q2, 2017.

Samsung Launches Galaxy S8 & S8+

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 29, 2017 by itnerd

Samsung just announced the launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. This is more than just a phone launch for Samsung. It’s a reboot for the company following the exploding Note 7 debacle. They have to hit the S8 and S8+ out of the park or risk having their market share erode. Based on what I see, they have something that might do just that.

The S8 will come to the table with a big 5.8-inch display. If that’s not big enough, you get 6.2 inches on the S8+. One wonders how you will fit either phone in your pocket. Having said that, Both displays are also SuperAMOLED panels with QuadHD (2960×1440) with Samsung’s always-on display feature.

The CPU is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. You get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage on board. A microSD slot allows you to add additional storage. It runs Android 7.0 with the “Samsung Experience 8.0” layered on top. Plus you get the new Siri competitor Bixby. More info on Bixby can be found here. But it promises to be game changing for the company. Samsung is also first to market by having Bluetooth 5.0 on board. Plus you get a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor alongside the camera which is a 12MP sensor for the rear and 8MP camera on the front of the phone. There’s also facial recognition and an iris scanner for security purposes. Before you ask, yes there is a headphone jack. I guess they lacked courage. But it hasn’t affected the ability to be water resistant as it sports IP68 dust/water resistance. There’s also a docking station option called Dex which allows it to be connected to a monitor or TV effectively turning it into an Android-run PC.

Now onto the most anticipated part of the phone. The battery. There’s a 3,000 mAh battery in the S8 and a 3,500 mAh battery in the S8+, both with fast charging. To make sure that they don’t explode, the batteries were put through what Samsung describes as their toughest battery tests ever. Because they know that if even one of these phones explodes, it’s game over for them from a PR standpoint.

Samsung will be opening up pre-orders on March 30th and it will be available for sale on April 21st. Samsung isn’t confirming pricing for the Galaxy S8 and the S8+ at this point. Several colors including black, gray, and silver will be available.

So, will you be getting an S8 or S8+? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

UPDATE: Telus reached out to me to say that their customers can pre-order online starting today! Deliveries start as early as April 17. To sweeten the deal and get the most out of their new smartphones, Telus customers who pre-order the new Samsung S8 and S8+, will also receive the Samsung Gear VR with controller.

Samsung To Sell Refurb Note 7 Phones

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 27, 2017 by itnerd

If you wanted a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, despite the fact that they had this tendency to catch fire and explode, you might be in luck. Samsung today posted a document detailing how that’s going to happen. I’ll let you read the document as it is decently detailed. But it is clear that they’re doing this to try and recoup the billions that they lost because of this debacle.

So, would you buy one of these phones? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.


Korean Smartphone Companies Duke It Out At MWC

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 27, 2017 by itnerd

If you were wondering what could possibly reverse Samsung’s fortunes after the exploding Galaxy Note 7 debacle, wonder no longer. Today at Mobile World Congress Samsung teased the Galaxy S8 in a video:

Also making an apparence were two new tablets. One Android and one Windows. The latter is interesting as Samsung has tended to be an Android shop with brief dabbles into Tizen which is their in house OS. Though you have to ask this question. Why would Samsung come out with tablets if nobody is buying them? There’s also a new Gear VR headset with a bundled controller on deck as well for what it is worth.

So if Samsung had no phone to show off, LG showed up with one in the form of the G6. Apparently it will have a 5.7-inch screen with a 18:9 aspect ratio (instead of the 16:9 standard) and Dolby Vision HDR, which could mean better-looking images. It’s fully waterproof, and has a dual-lens camera with some nifty photo tricks, too. We’ll see if that can steal the thunder from the S8.

UPDATE: Here’s a video of the LG G6: