A glitch in the latest version of the Samsung Messages app that comes pre-installed on all Samsung phones is sending random pictures to users’ contacts.
The good news is that the issue appears to be limited only to modern Samsung Galaxy series, such as S9, S9 Plus, and Note 8, and not to all Samsung handsets.
Only users who updated to the latest version appear to be affected, according to users who discovered and reported the issue on the /r/GalaxyNote8 subreddit.
Photo Forwarding Happens Without a User Prompt
Users who encountered the bug say they didn’t know the phone had sent out the photos, as they do not appear as sent messages.
They only discovered when the recipient of these photos answered back inquiring about the mysterious messages.
Images appear to be picked at random from the user’s image gallery. In some cases, users reported the phone sending out normal photos, while in others the phone grabbed emojis and other image resources from the phone’s storage.
The issue isn’t specific to one mobile carrier alone, and users from different operators reported the same problem.
Samsung is Aware of the Issue
For now, it is recommended that users do not update to the latest Samsung Messages app until Samsung fixes the issues. Samsung said in a forum post that it was aware of the issue.
Users who already updated may want to check carrier logs to see if their phone sent out images to random people, and they may also want to disable the app’s ability to access the phone’s storage so it won’t be able to grab photos from the device anymore.
This can be done by going to Settings -> Apps -> Samsung Messages -> Permissions -> Storage.