Stagefright: Security Threat for Android Users

August 14, 2015 Ethel Crosby

If you use an Android mobile phone, this security alert is for you. Below are quick steps you can follow to protect yourself and your personal information from the latest mobile security vulnerability called “Stagefright.”

What is Stagefright?
“Stagefright” is the nickname given to the recent vulnerability in Android thatallows an attacker to take control of a device by simply downloading an MMS message (text message with photos or videos) – 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 even have to open it in order to get infected.

What do I need to do next?
To prevent yourself from this security vulnerability, you need to prevent your messaging app from downloading and launching MMS messages. This means disabling what is called the "MMS auto-retrieval" setting. It's also wise to avoid opening text messages with attachments from people you don't know or messages that look suspicious. For details on how to disable MMS messages (which vary depending on the phone you have), visit this article by

Look out for software updates on your phone and make sure you install the latest updates. Google and other phone manufacturers will be rolling out updates as well.

For more details, go to:


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Ethel Crosby Director of Technology Operations & Offerings

As Director of Technology Operations and Offerings at One North, Ethel is responsible for the management and execution of leading digital technology solutions and product management, continuously identifying new strategic technology opportunities for One North and its clients. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Ethel once zip-lined, upside down, in a rain forest in Costa Rica.

  • Favorite movie quote: "With great power comes great responsibility." - Spiderman
  • Favorite vending machine snack: Reese's Pieces

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