Android’s Stagefright Vulnerability
As I am sure most of you are aware, mobile has surpassed computers when it comes to search and overall usage as related to accessing the Internet. With that however, comes the focus of hackers looking to exploit the devices we use.
Hackers or now moving their focus of creating malware that targets your computer Windows operating system... over to the systems that operate your mobile devices.
Last month, a security bug was uncovered that affects smartphones using the Android mobile operating system. This vulnerability can be triggered without any user interaction or simply by opening a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) text which may lead to the device being compromised.
With this vulnerability, it is surprising we haven't seen a worm spreading from phone to phone as was the case with earlier versions of Microsoft's operating systems since all the ingredients are there.
What Does Stagefright Do?
The bug affects the part of the Android operating system that lets a device display media content. A malicious media file potentially pushed to an affected Android device can compromise your device’s security by letting an attacker read or delete data and even activate a device’s camera and microphone without the user’s knowledge.
This is similar to how hackers take over laptops and are able to view you through your machines camera and listen to your conversations.
Speaking with Don Udell, Presdent of Keyword Solutions a local Mobile APP company.... he says. "To check if your Android device is vulnerable to the bug, you can download Stagefright Detector App released by Zimperium, a mobile security company."
How to protect yourself in the interim:
At this time the extent of this vulnerability is unclear. As a precaution customers can be proactive in the interim and help reduce risk by following the suggestions below:
- Disable the automatic download of MMS messages on your Android device.
- Avoid opening text or MMS messages from unknown individuals.
- Update your operating system once a patch is available.
Many people have become complacent regarding their mobile devices. Hackers are always a step ahead of manufacturers and many developers so you need to be on your guard or risk having your device being taken over by criminals looking to exploit or steal what you have.