Security experts have warned Android smartphone owners to update their software and be wary of clicking untrusted links - as they could reset your phone back to its factory setting without warning.
Researchers found that malicious hackers can create web-links that can wipe your phone - meaning all your files, personal details, images and music would be wiped, just by getting you to click on a web-link.
The exploit has been tested on Samsung phones, but could potentially be work on handsets from companies such as HTC.
The bug exploits a feature in many phones from Samsung where clicking on a link can automatically dial a number into your dial-pad and click 'Call'.
The Galaxy S2 is likely to still be at risk from the 'link-jacking', which could reset a phone by following a URL - which can automatically dial 'magic codes' from your phonebook
While this is a handy feature in some cases - for instance, calling a restaurant directly from a web-page - it opens the door for malicious uses.
Many manufacturers add hidden commands to your phonebook - for instance, dialling *#*#4636#*#* will automatically show you your phone's secret setting menus.
But some manufacturers, including Samsung, add additional codes - and one of them automatically resets your phone, without any way of interrupting the process.
The exploit was first announced by Ravi Borgaonkar, from the Technische Universitat in Berlin.
He said web links could be embedded in text messages, clicked on in a web browser, or scanned using a QR 'barcode' tag.
When Borgaonkar announced his finding yesterday, he said there was nothing a Samsung owner can do to stop it.
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However, the exploit only appears to work on some models, and Samsung has released a security update to block the problem.
Samsung said there is a fix out for the flagship Galaxy S3 has already been issued, but has not referred to other models yet, such as its bestselling Galaxy S2.
The spokesman said: 'We would like to assure our customers that the recent security issue concerning the GALAXY S III has already been resolved through a software update.
'We recommend all GALAXY S III customers to download the latest software update, which can be done quickly and easily via the Over-The-Air (OTA) service.'
Users can find updates by clicking on Settings | About Phone | Software updates.
Some users also report the problem can occur on HTC handsets, but this is still under investigation.
Developers for Android said they had also adapted the operating system to prevent the exploit.
However Android's well-known slow update process - due to the varieties of different handsets, and phone networks insisting on adding 'bloatware' to their own devices - means this may not roll out to users quickly.
In practice, few users are likely to come across a link which will affect their phone in this way, but anyone who is concerned should seek out an app in the Play Store called TelStop.
Source : Dailymail