News about security issues flow around at the quickest pace, and the latest one about Android device security is worth noticing, as over 95% of Android smartphones are vulnerable to this exploit named Stagefright. The company that discovered this exploit, Zimperium, has release an app to let you know whether your phone is vulnerable to this or not. Before that, let us tell you what Stagefright is.
This is a critical vulnerability that was recently discovered, and it allows hackers to get access to the system or media of the device when an MMS is being processed. The bigger issue is that you might not be able to even watch the MMS as it can delete itself, once the access is gained by the hacker.
Stagefright is actually an engine that unpacks and plays the multimedia message. Hackers uses this to get access to your device.
This was discovered by Zimperium zLabs expert and VP of Platform Research and Exploitation, Joshua Drake, who also provided Google with patches to fix the vulnerability.
Why should you worry when there are patches?
Anything including patches or any changes, are sent to Android devices via. software updates. While Zimperium has formed a “Zimperium Handset Alliance” to help different manufacturers, sending software updates isn’t as easy and quick, and it might take more than just months to fix the issue.
Some devices, for example the ones running Cyanogen OS, are safe it seems. But at the same time, Nexus devices and the smartphones from Samsung, LG, and HTC are said to be at risk. Samsung and Google have promised monthly security updates.
What can I do to keep my device safe?
Ignore MMS / Disable MMS – If you don’t know who sent you the MMS, delete it as soon as you can. Even better if you can just disable the MMS service on your device so you don’t receive one.
Check for your device vulnerability – Zimperium has released an app on Google Play Store to help you understand whether your device is vulnerable to Stagefright. Download the app from this link, and check your device now.