Android Bug Threatens Millions of Users

Jul 28, 2015

Attackers can compromise an Android phone just by sending a text message

Security researchers at Zimperium zLabs have uncovered a flaw that might affect up to 950 million Android smartphones. The Stagefright bug allows an attacker to inject malicious code into an Android device using a video text message. The message recipient does not have to play the video for the attack to succeed.

A carefully crafted video file will trigger a bug in the Stagefright library, which plays a role in creating a preview version of the video. The attack uses memory corruption to get control of the Android device without the user's knowledge. The attacker can then inject additional malware, export user information, or even hijack the phone's camera and microphone to spy on the user.

The problem affects almost all versions of Android, from version 2.2 through the current version 5.1. If you are running Android 4.1 “Jellybean” or later, the sandbox system provides some isolation that limits, but does not prevent, the attack. Phones older than Android 2.2 are wide open.
Google has already patched the problem. Android users are advised to upgrade as soon as possible.

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More