How to Cope with Stagefright

Earlier this week we reported on the Stagefright vulnerability that could affect 95 percent of Android devices. It has arisen as a result of code vulnerabilities which could have been detected and resolved earlier.

Application security company Checkmarx has been looking more deeply into Stagefright and what it means for users and developers.

Stagefright can infect a device by simply downloading an MMS message — which happens automatically in most cases. Once infected, the hacker has full control over the phone’s data. The scary thing is that the Android device just needs to receive an MMS message. The user doesn’t have to open it in order to get infected.

First of all there’s a temporary workaround to avoid infection. Open the Hangouts app, go to Settings from the hamburger menu, select SMS, choose Hangouts as your default SMS app and uncheck Auto-retrieve MMS. There’s usually an option to turn off auto-retrieval of MMS in other messaging apps too, so check your settings.

Amit Ashbel of Checkmarx writing on the company’s blog says, “It is clear by now that the Stagefright vulnerability was a result of one or more code vulnerabilities. It is also clear that these could have been detected at an earlier stage of the development and resolved at that stage. What is not yet clear is what the exact vulnerability is, however, that should become clear within the coming days after the full information about the CVEs reported are disclosed”.

Checkmarx’s CxSAST for Mobile delivers code security analysis for Android, iOS and Windows applications. This helps eliminate code vulnerabilities during the coding process rather than waiting for them to appear at a later stage.

Read the original article at BetaNews.

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Sarah is in charge of social media and an editor and writer for the content team at Checkmarx. Her team sheds light on lesser-known AppSec issues and strives to launch content that will inspire, excite and teach security professionals about staying ahead of the hackers in an increasingly insecure world.

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