Samsung confirms source code of Galaxy devices stolen by hacking group

Samsung Galaxy on show at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
The Korean company says it shouldn't impact Kiwi customers. Photo credit: Getty Images

Samsung has confirmed hackers have stolen company data and source code for its Galaxy range of devices.

But Kiwis with Samsung phones have been told that the hack is unlikely to have any impact on them.

The South Korean tech giants released their newest range of flagship mobile phones in New Zealand last week, including the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

"We were recently made aware that there was a security breach relating to certain internal company data," a Samsung spokesperson told Bloomberg.

"Immediately after discovering the incident, we strengthened our security system. According to our initial analysis, the breach involves some source codes relating to the operation of Galaxy devices."

The hacked data - around 190GB according to most reports - does not include personal information of any consumers or employees, the company said.

"Currently, we do not anticipate any impact to our business or customers. We have implemented measures to prevent further such incidents and will continue to serve our customers without disruption."

According to website TechCrunch, the stolen data also allegedly includes confidential information from chipmaker Qualcomm, which makes the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip powering Samsung's new phones in Aotearoa.

Qualcomm spokesperson Clare Conley told TechCrunch the company was taking the claims very seriously.

"We are working expeditiously with Samsung to understand the scope of the incident, as well as to confirm what Qualcomm data, if any, has been impacted," Conley said.

"We have no reason to believe that Qualcomm systems or security were impacted as a result of this reported incident."

A hacking outfit called Lapsus$ has claimed responsibility for the hack, which reportedly includes the source code for encryption and biometric unlocking functions of Galaxy devices.

The same group has previously hacked GPU and chip maker Nvidia, attempting to blackmail it.

It's not known whether Samsung were given a list of demands, but Nvidia were told all data hacked, around 1TB in total, would be released if the company didn't open-source its graphics chip drivers and pay a cryptocurrency ransom.

When Nvidia didn't respond, source code was leaked and information about unannounced graphics cards was shared online. Some of the data was used to create malware, according to some reports.