If you are an Android user you might want to take extra care of your device these days. There is a new sort of virus called Stagefright that can easily find its way into your Android device via MMS.
It is a vulnerability that practically hijacks your phone and can cause some pesky issues that you might not want to deal with. So remember: if you receive an MMS from a number that you don’t know or recognize, just do not open it.
The company that discovered anomaly is called Zimperium and has taken the time to create a tool called Stagefright Detector App which you can download at any time. Unfortunately it cannot deal with the infected phone, but it will at least tell you if your device is vulnerable to it or not.
Google has already released a fix in a previous patch and you can stop worrying now if you have a Nexus phone. But if you are the owner of almost any other type of Samsung device, you might be in trouble. Even a newly purchased phone can be a victim of Stagefright.
So you might be wondering what this Stagefright actually does. It is suffice to say that if you are sending an infected MMS to someone you know and they open it, you will be able to see everything they have in the phone. You can see numbers, messages, applications, everything.
Now the Stagefright Detector app can tell you whether you are patched against it or not, but just as mentioned before, it is not the solution to your problem. What you need to do is search for Zimperium’s blog post about how to deal with the issue. Everything you need to know is that if you are using Hangouts as your SMS app, you need to disable “Auto Retrieve MMS”.
While the issue seems to affect a lot of people, it remains unclear whether a lot of users are affected or not. Still, it is appropriate that you are aware of the situation and that you know how to solve it. Zimperium have already addressed it by mentioning Android’s weak patching system.
Zimperium believes that iOS is a better operating system than Android simply because they launch a patch and everybody has it. Android already has the problem solved, but nobody is patching it, so phones get affected by an anomaly like this one by the hundreds or maybe thousands.
Photo Credits techaeris.com