Samsung Auto Blocker: new Samsung Galaxy Security tool
Samsung Auto Blocker is a new security tool for Samsung Galaxy devices that promises to protect devices from certain threats. The opt-in feature is part of One UI 6, which Samsung is rolling out currently to first Samsung Galaxy devices alongside Android 14.
Samsung describes Auto Blocker as "an opt-in package of additional security measures that gives users more choice as they explore the customizations enabled by Samsung Galaxy’s open ecosystem".
Samsung Galaxy owners may enable Auto Blocker in the Settings under Security and Privacy > Auto Blocker.
There, they find several toggles to turn protections on or off individually. One feature blocks the installation of apps from unauthorized sources, for example. Known as sideloading, it allows Android users to install apps and games from sources outside the official Stores such as Google Play or the Samsung's App Store.
Android includes protections against the installation already, but users may allow sideloading on their devices. Samsung's protective feature adds another protection, but this one blocks sideloading entirely.
Two features improve protections against attacks that use USB cables. The first blocks commands via USB cable. When Android users connect their devices via USB, malware may use the connection to send commands to the Android device. The second USB-related security feature blocks software updates by USB cable.
Auto Blocker does include a new app security checks feature. This sounds similarly to Android 14's real-time scanning protections feature on first glance. Google announced the security feature recently. It will scan unknown devices installed from third-party sources, any source that is not Google Play, to block malicious apps from installation. Users have to select the scan option if they want to install the app, there is no way to bypass it apparently.
Samsung's security feature scans installed apps on the device frequently for malicious activity. It does not seem to be a real-time check though.
Another Auto Blocker feature is protecting messaging apps. The feature mitigates zero click attacks as well as image messages that hide malicious code. It was launched originally for Google and Samsung messaging apps, but is now also protecting the messenger apps Telegram, Messenger, WhatsApp and KakaoTalk according to Samsung's announcement.
Auto Blocker is an opt-in feature, which limits its reach considerably, especially since it is not highlighted by Samsung to the user. Users who activate it get controls to turn off specific features, such as the sideloading protection. This is welcome, as it gives Samsung users more control over the functionality. The USB protections sound especially useful, as they may protect devices against so-called juice-jacking attacks. These attacks happen often in public locations and use public USB ports for attacks.
Now You: do you have any extra security features enabled on your mobile devices?Advertisement