Android users in exposure to Stagefright

Android users are being warned to switch off the MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) features on their phone following the discovery of the Stagefright exploit that has left up to 95 percent of all Android devices open to attack by hackers.

Simon Mullis, global technical leader at FireEye, told V3 that the flaw is very serious and that individuals and businesses must be aware of the threat.

“The sheer range and number of devices and therefore end-users affected, and the fact that no user interaction is required to become compromised, make this a very serious set of vulnerabilities indeed,” he said.

“Stagefright represents significant risk to the individual end-user. The contents of your phone are ripe for abuse (think photos, camera, contacts etc). It represents a more significant risk to organisations that allow BYOD free-run on their networks.”

Mullis added that, given patches are unlikely to arrive any time soon, users should switch off MMS to reduce the risk.

“The final straw is that it’s estimated that this has been around for five years. You can be sure that phone makers are hurriedly releasing patches for this as soon as they can. In the meantime, maybe you should switch off all MMS,” he said.

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