Android Has Stagefright and Your Device Probably Does Too

Android bug stagefright

Android Security Suite Stagefright Detector

Learn all about the Android security bug known as “Stagefright”. What it is, how to know if you have it, and how to protect your device.

What’s more shocking? That 75% of people are afraid to speak in front of a crowd or that 95% of all Android devices are vulnerable to malicious attack? Probably depends on the type of smartphone you own.
In total, 900 million Android devices released over the last five years have a defect in their operating system nicknamed “Stagefright.” So far, the Stagefright vulnerability has not been exploited by hackers, but it still remains a problem with the potential to cause widespread mayhem. Here is what Android owners need to know about Stagefright, how to tell if your device has Stagefright, and what you can do to protect yourself from attack.

What is “Stagefright”?

“Stagefright” refers to a software bug within a native Android video player called Stagefright, hence the name. Theoretically, the bug could be used by a hacker to steal private information from an Android device by sending a text message with a worm embedded in a video file. There are two different ways that a vulnerable phone can be attacked through this bug: 1) via text message with embedded video files or 2) by viewing web videos.

1. Most messaging apps like Google Hangouts and the default Android messaging app automatically download received video messages so that the videos are ready to view immediately when the user opens them. Once inside of a phone, that phone could be used to send the worm onto the phone’s contacts, further spreading the problem.

2. In similar fashion, viewing a video on the internet could leave a compromised phone at risk. A video file with a worm could exploit the Stagefright vulnerability through your web browsing app because Android uses the same Stagefright mechanism to process online videos.

The scary thing is that in both cases a phone can be breached remotely and secretively, without the owner even knowing.

Where Did Stagefright Come From?

Joshua Drake of Zimperium cyber-security originally found the Stagefight exploit in April 2015. He gave his findings to Google and the company made revisions to their code to fix the problem. However, more bugs were found and on July 27th the Stagefright bug was publically disclosed.

Android Security Suite

Will it be Patched?

Since the announcement, Android device manufacturers have been working on updates to patch the issue. However, these updates require the cooperation of Google (developers of Android), manufacturers who make the devices (Samsung, Sony, LG, etc.) and the mobile carriers who serve the devices (Sprint, T-mobile, AT&T, etc). All the red tape has made Android security updates particularly sluggish and in most cases, non-existent.

How Can I Tell If My Device Has Stagefright?

If you are an Android user, the numbers are not in your favor. 900 million or, 95% of worldwide Android devices contain the Stagefright bug in their OS. The chances are good that if you are running Froyo 2.2, Lollipop 5.1.1, or anything in between you are at risk of attack.
To be sure, there are multiple Stagefright detection apps that can be used to see if a phone does indeed have “Stagefright.” They are:

Android Security Suite Stagefright detector
The Zimperium Stagefright Detector and
The Lookout Mobile Stagefright Detector

How to Protect Yourself

The news isn’t all bad when it comes to Stagefright. According to Adrian Ludwig, the head of Android security, “90 percent of Android devices have a technology called ASLR enabled, which protects users from the issue.” (ASLR is a security measure that makes hacking more difficult by randomizing information.)
Anyone with a compromised device can take steps to protect themselves from infection. The best way to do so is by disabling the auto-download function of your text messaging apps. In most messaging apps, the basic steps are to: Open the app, tap the main menu, select settings, go to SMS or MMS, and deselect the automatic download function.
In any case, never open a video message from an unknown number and be wary of suspicious messages from friend’s phones. Hopefully, the bug will be resolved before a catastrophe, but you never know. Stagefright isn’t limited to humans anymore. Your Android probably has it.

Mobile Cloud Labs’ team is moving forward in the development of Android Security Suite. What’s new?

Mobile Cloud Labs' team 2015

Mobile Cloud Labs’ team meeting in 2015. In the photo, from left to right: Tray Houston, Vaidas Barauskas, Brian McCauley and Richard Sylvester.

Even though Mobile Cloud Labs’ team is spread around the world, the company made it possible for our directors, designers, marketing staff and software developers to meet in the United Stated to work on the development of Android Security Suite, the most advanced antivirus for android.

Unlike our competitors, Android Security Suite integrates several solutions to protect Android devices to the fullest extent. Our team expects to release the first version in the second quarter of 2015 and assures that our antivirus solution brings state of the art technology never seen in an Android antivirus app before.

What’s new in this release?

As any advanced antivirus, Android Security Suite will protect your Android device from cybercriminals that try to steal your passwords, identity, bank account info and other personal data. However, what is unique is that our state of the art engine scans not only apps but files for known viruses, malware and other cyber threats, something few competitors do.

What sets Android Security Suite apart is that the engine scans for both Android and Windows threats. This feature prevents viruses and other threats from spreading between devices and is so strong that if you enable the deep scan options it will break apart apps and zip files in real time to look for possible threats.

On top of this, Android Security Suite’s real time protection is one of the strongest in the industry and will monitor your app installs, apps updates and changes to your files, something very few do. You can also enable the “safe browsing“ option to protect from malicious websites and potential scams.

Android Security Suite Antivirus

Android Security Suite videos in App will show the most advanced features of our antivirus engine.

Additionally, in our application as well as our web channels, users will be able to find videos explaining the most relevant features of our engine such as Zip File Scan, Deep Scanning and Advanced Real Time Protection. We also had special T-Shirts made specifically for our actors and actresses in the videos and are giving some away for free, just contact us at: info@mobilecloudlabs.com and ask for your free shirt (while supplies last).

With this release, Mobile Cloud Labs looks to offer users across the world valuable android applications starting with the antivirus solution. With Android Security Suite, anyone can “Savor the protection of Android Security Suiteness“.