Some of Samsung's latest smartphone handsets seem to have encountered a bug, causing the 'Samsung Messages' app to send out photos saved on the device without the users' consent or knowledge.
In one case, a Samsung Galaxy S9+ owner had his entire photo gallery sent to his girlfriend via text message, and only became aware of the issue when she told him what had happened. Concerningly, the Samsung Messages app had no record of this having happened.
Clearly this has the potential to be harmful, as the messages appear to have been sent to random phone contacts. Thankfully the recipient of photos in that particular case was the S9+ owner's partner, but if it was a business contact or work colleague the results could have been devastating.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 first became available in March 2018
So why has this happened? Samsung are apparently looking in to the problem, but the prevailing theory so far is that the recent implementation of RCS (Rich Communication Services) has conflicted with the Samsung Messages app somehow, resulting in the bug.
There does not appear to be a fix for this bug yet, and if you deny the app permission to access the phone storage then you will not be able to read your text messages. However, by disabling the app permissions it will not be able to access your photos and so may still be worth doing. Samsung is looking into the matter and has advised anyone experiencing these issues to get in touch with their support team.