If you’ve been paying attention to any tech news recently you probably saw an article about some recent Android vulnerabilities called “Stagefright.” What is Stagefright? Basically, it allows an attacker to insert code and gain control of your device simply by sending a multimedia message (MMS) packaged with an exploit. From there they can take control of your device and steal your data. Depending on the messaging app you are using, you may not even see the message. Hangouts, for example, will automatically download the information as soon as it arrives. The attacker could then delete the message and you’d never even know it happened.
Google has already indicated it’s working on a fix for the exploit, but that could be weeks away. Even once it’s released, unless you own a Nexus device, you’ll probably wait weeks or even months before your phones provider gets a patch out to you. So what do you do in the meantime?
One option is to disable auto-fetching of MMS messages within your messaging app. Thankfully, Lookout has just published an article (Click Here) that gives instructions for several of the major messaging apps in Android. Hangouts, Messenger, Messages, and more are all covered. If your messaging app isn’t listed, check through the settings for a similar setting or contact the application developer to find out what steps are necessary. If they don’t provide such an option, you may want to temporarily switch to one that does.
Good luck, and stay safe!